As head of analytics and data solutions at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Political Studies graduate Evan Lyons has been guided by an openness to opportunity and the indelible ability to adapt.
In his role focusing on data analytics, information mining, and modernizing data and business practices, accountability and adaptability are key – and are Mr. Lyons’ biggest takeaways from his time at Trent.
“In my current role, I can’t take one algorithm and continuously re-apply it,” explains Mr. Lyons. “At Trent, I learned about re-inventing myself for each environment that was thrown at me. That adaptability has allowed me to continue that re-invention throughout my career.”
Diving into skills
“Trent has a great focus on the socio-economics of politics,” shares Mr. Lyons. “In an increasingly globalized world, it was really interesting to understand these relationships and dynamics.”
Whether learning about ongoing global conflicts or the policy impact of food insecurity, he immersed himself in theory and case studies during his time at Trent. After initially attending a larger institution, Mr. Lyons transferred to Trent and quickly found his place amongst engaging seminars, thoughtful conversation and dialogue to challenge his critical thinking skills.
“I came in as a transfer student and hit the ground running. It was a much more personalized feel to education.”
Onward to big analytics & data
After Trent, Mr. Lyons continued his studies in graduate school and built up his skills in computer programming on the job. He forecasted election results for his first job at Shaw Communications before taking on a research analyst role at Ipsos Healthcare then transitioning into first an analyst and subsequently senior management roles with Interac Corp.
He subsequently worked toward his current job at the OSC, an independent Crown corporation that regulates Ontario’s capital markets.
Looking back at his time at Trent, Mr. Lyons values the negotiating and problem-solving skills that he learned.
“As someone who is tasked with data governance, data strategy and overseeing the data assets of a regulatory body, I have to really think about how to solve the problem in front of me and the potential ripple effect or downstream impacts,” explains Mr. Lyons. “That type of thinking and approach has permeated throughout my career.”
Open to possibilities
Now, firmly ensconced in his multi-faceted career, Mr. Lyons feels fortunate to develop people around him. He stresses that a degree is about developing skills that can transition to many careers. The key is to explore your interests.
“That’s the beautiful part of Trent as an institution,” reflects Mr. Lyons. “I focused on getting the most out of myself and ultimately, the skills that I can bring to the table in my studies and career.”
Learn more about Political Studies at Trent. Applications are still open for fall 2021.
Evan Lyons recently participated as a mentor for Life After Trent – a program that creates opportunities for students and alumni at various stages of their career to meet each other, to mingle and support each other along their professional journey.