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Alum has grand opportunity at Queen's Park

When University of Guelph-Humber alumnus Haider Hayat first enrolled in the Justice Studies program, he could not have imagined one day pursuing a career in government policymaking.

I encourage anyone that is reading this, to always dream big, work hard, and never give up. The process is often more rewarding than the outcome.

Haider Hayat


At the time, he figured his future might lie in the criminal justice system as a Crown Attorney. It wasn’t until an internship during the latter half of his third year through the University of Guelph-Humber that Hayat got his taste of public service and his career goals suddenly changed.

That placement was with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General as a Court Support Clerk, which – thanks to Hayat’s positive attitude and hard work – led to another full-time summer position the same year with a different government division with the same ministry.

“The two mandatory internships offered through the Justice Studies program were vital for me to be where I am today,” Hayat says now. “That’s when I realized that the government is a really impactful and rewarding place to work.”

After graduating from the University of Guelph-Humber with an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science and an Ontario College Diploma in 2020, Hayat continued on to complete a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University.

Now, he is working as an Economist with the Ontario Ministry of Finance – Office of the Budget, reporting for work at Queen’s Park in Toronto and advising on fiscal and economic policy at the provincial level while supporting the Minister of Finance and various executive decision makers on matters related to economic and fiscal policy and program implementation and delivery.

“It feels sort of like a dream come true,” Hayat reflected. “When I started at the University of Guelph-Humber, I had absolutely no idea I would end up at Queen’s Park, working alongside some of the most influential decision makers in Ontario.”

Driven to make a difference

Although Hayat’s young career has already found him working in a variety of government ministries – he also just completed a contract at the Treasury Board Secretariat in addition to his work with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Attorney General – he has been motivated in every position to effect positive change.

Growing up as a racialized minority in various underserved communities, Hayat saw first-hand why some underserved segments of the population are adversely affected by various public policies. Since, he has sought out opportunities to change that.

“When I grew up in various parts of Quebec and Ontario, I had a lot of exposure to flawed policies that inadequately addressed the needs of various minority groups such as racialized peoples, and peoples with physical and/or mental disability,” Hayat said. “That’s my biggest motivation, to support and seek out policies that address the various systemic issues experienced by minorities, to ensure that the needs of underprivileged members of society are being addressed.”

In his recent role at the Treasury, he managed and coordinated an anti-racism committee with his colleagues and Assistant Deputy Minister, which included a virtual presentation from University of Guelph-Humber instructor Dr. Nitin Deckha on anti-racism.

“My prime goal in life is to help people. I know it sounds cliche, but I’ve set out on a lifelong mission to impact as many lives as possible by attempting to solve complex issues and addressing the most prominent challenges faced by society,” Hayat said. “I’ve experienced what it’s like to be raised in a marginalized setting. Not only as a racialized person, but as someone who has experienced poverty growing up, I understand what it’s like to feel inadequate. I strive to put my best foot forward every single day and to make sure I’m helping people to the best of my abilities.”

“I am very grateful, because I come from a very large family – where nobody has ever worked for the government. In fact, my parents did not even finish high-school,” said Hayat.

“I encourage anyone that is reading this, to always dream big, work hard, and never give up. The process is often more rewarding than the outcome. Through dedication, ambition, discipline, and faith, there is nothing that cannot be achieved.”