Student Profile: Aliesha Thomas, SFU Master of Public Policy Student

July 24, 2023

As we get ready for the Fall semester, we wanted to connect with one of our awesome graduate students here at SFU’s Vancouver campus and learn more about their academic journey, passions, and student experience. Please meet Aliesha Thomas, a graduate student at SFU's Master of Public Policy program. Learn more about Aliesha below!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What is your major and what led you to choose it?

 I was initially drawn to the field of policy because of the opportunity it presented to make a meaningful impact on Canadian society. Coming from a Bachelor of Arts background, I struggled to find a graduate program that could blend my interests in creativity, social justice, and research. Luckily, I stumbled upon SFU's Master of Public Policy program, which seemed to offer exactly what I was looking for. Policy, in its various forms, has the power to shape the very foundation of our society, and that's why I felt so drawn to this program. It provides me with the platform to make a difference and bring about positive change in Canada. 

What motivated you to choose Simon Fraser University and this campus? What factors played a role in your decision-making process?

Simon Fraser University has an international reputation for its academic excellence, so when considering universities SFU was at the top of my list. I was surprised to learn SFU has a downtown Vancouver campus, which I hadn’t been aware of previously. The downtown Vancouver campus is located near major transit routes which made it convenient for a student with no car and was close to all my favourite shopping and entertainment destinations. Its desirable location was a major factor for me in choosing this university and campus. 

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities or organizations related to your major or campus life? How have these experiences enhanced your university experience?

 I am currently serving as the co-chair of the Master of Public Policy Caucus for the 2023-2024 academic year, and getting actively involved in this role has been a rewarding decision. Being part of the Caucus has allowed me to stay connected with SFU's academic community and collaborate with my fellow classmates to benefit the School of Public Policy. It's been wonderful to have the opportunity to regularly engage with faculty and staff members through the Caucus, which has given me a more personalized and meaningful university experience. I am genuinely grateful for the chance to contribute to the program and foster a sense of community amongst my peers. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience as a student at this university, your major, or any other aspect of campus life?

 If there is one thing that has made my experience at Simon Fraser University so positive, it is the opportunities I was able to engage in. As I had originally attended a smaller university, SFU seemed intimidating for its large size. However, the opportunities for research, friendship, work, and learning are unparalleled. These opportunities are part of what drew me to SFU and helped to make me feel a part of the SFU community and create lifelong friendships. I highly recommend new students pursue every opportunity that comes their way and amazing things are sure to follow!