Victoria Sheppard


Graduated from MES in May 2005

Educational background:

Bachelor of Science in Marine and Freshwater
Biology from the University of Guelph

Work history:

Worked in the Education Department of the Toronto Zoo

Current position:

Policy analyst with Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Q: What are your responsibilities as a policy analyst with Fisheries and Oceans Canada?

A: I work to establish Canada’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs). We need to make sure that MPAs are set up in the most strategic and effective way possible. For example, if we want to protect a particular species of whale, we need to make sure that their feeding grounds, breeding grounds and calving grounds are all protected.

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about sustainable development, both here in Canada and overseas.  I believe that by establishing a network of MPAs, Canada will also be able to support local fisheries and pursue offshore development in an environmentally sustainable way, well into the future.

Q: How did you land your current position?

A: It was all thanks to SRES. Through the MES program, I became more interested in policy and made important connections with people working in the field. After I finished my degree, I worked at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Not long after, I applied to work for the federal government through Natural Resource Canada’s Policy Analyst Recruitment and Development Program. I moved to Fisheries and Oceans Canada a few years later. SRES set me up really well for a policy job, gave me well-rounded skills, made me more aware, opened doors and gave me broader perspective. Going to SRES was one of the best decisions of my life.

Q: Have you been able to stay connected with SRES?

A: Absolutely. Every year, they bring students to Ottawa to meet with people in different federal departments. They come to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and they get to meet with people at all different levels to see what careers in the public service can look like. Usually, I either work closely with the SRES internship coordinator to help organize the visit, or I participate in it.