"I did a lot of research before making my decision and I found that SFU’s program has everything I was looking for. With both a summer co-op program as well as the opportunity to work directly with a governmental partner, I’ve been able to apply the skills I’m learning and get to know potential future employers."

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Student Profile: Emily Saint

March 14, 2022
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Public Policy master's student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I graduated from UBC with my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2020. My interests lie primarily in social policy, but I am really fascinated with how that intersects with the environment. In my undergrad I got the chance to work for both the private and the public sector and it inspired me to apply to grad school to further my understanding of public policy and apply those skills towards work that aims to solve big societal problems.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I did a lot of research before making my decision and I found that SFU’s program has everything I was looking for. I really liked how practical the program is. The skills I learn in the classroom are directly applicable to work I’ll be doing in the future. Additionally, I like how experiential the program is. With both a summer co-op program as well as the opportunity to work directly with a governmental partner, I’ve been able to apply the skills I’m learning and get to know potential future employers.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

The Master of Public Policy program is a two-year program that allows students the opportunity to learn more about how the political process works, hone their writing skills in a variety of disciplines, and do projects that are relevant to issues the province and country are facing at the moment.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I really enjoy how it has allowed me to engage directly with real life issues. In the first semester I was able to practice writing memos for governmental agencies about issues they are currently facing, and the second semester allowed me to apply all this learning into work with contacts from a BC crown corporation. Getting to do assignments on topics including housing affordability, labour shortages, and minimum wage have expanded my scope of understanding of issues the province is facing but has also given me the opportunity to investigate solutions and options that are currently being considered.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I am a recipient of the Graduate Fellowship. This award has meant so much to me as it has allowed me to prioritize my schoolwork and become more involved in the program. Because of it I’ve been able to join committees and spend time getting to enjoy courses more as I don’t have to worry so much about the funding side.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

This program blends theoretical and practical knowledge that is directly applicable to any future careers in policy. It is cohort based which allows you to do work with people who share an interest and a passion of politics and ways to make policies work better for the people they affect. It is also cross disciplinary which means you get a foundation in economics, political science, as well as research methods. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to work as a policy analyst in the future and wants some professional experience.

 

Contact : emily_saint@sfu.ca

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