The third day of our trip could be concisely summarized as organized chaos. The interns acquainted themselves with Canada’s stunning capital by jostling (or sprinting, in some cases) around the downtown core. Each meeting proved that our foray into group athletics was well worth the effort. Amongst many stellar rendez-vous, we had the opportunity to meet with three prominent Ottawans – Jim Watson, Kevin Page, and Tim Powers. These individuals taught us that power comes from more than just a name (ending in -in/m).
Many interns were eager to meet with Mayor Jim Watson because of their connection to Ottawa. Mayor Watson did not disappoint. Jim greeted us warmly (thanks for the coffee Jim!), and answered our questions in a frank and open fashion. We expressed particular interest in Jim’s vision for Ottawa’s future, and were pleased to learn about Ottawa’s starring role throughout Canada’s sesquicentennial. We raced out of Jim’s office knowing a little more about Ottawa and a souvenir – a personalized Jim Watson hockey puck!
Barely an hour after leaving City Hall, we found ourselves seated opposite Canada’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer. Mr. Page impressed the interns with his quiet authority and fierce intelligence, as well as his ability to articulate complex economic ideas in an easily accessible fashion. Although the interns were initially curious about Mr. Page’s tenure as Canada’s first PBO, we were captivated by his analysis of Canada’s economic future. Kevin’s parting words about the importance of future leaders to Canada’s continued prosperity left the interns feeling hopeful – and slightly daunted.
Fortunately, we received excellent advice about how to excel throughout our careers during our meeting with Tim Powers, vice-chairmen of Summa Strategies and managing partner at Abacus Data. Tim advised us on how to navigate the minefield of interviews, work/life balance, and difficult situations that will shape our young professional lives. Throughout our conversation, Tim modelled the talents that have helped him thrive throughout the course of his professional career – sharp wit, easy manners, and a roaring laugh. Summa strategies also demonstrated the importance of keeping visitors well fed, hydrated and caffeinated; we left the meeting feeling particularly pleased and full.
Kevin, Jim, and Tim impressed the interns in equal parts with their significant intelligence, success in their respective careers, and visions for the future of their fields. What more could we ask?