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Student Profile: Kristen Belsher
Public Policy master's student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia in 2020. Upon graduating, I worked for the Canada Border Services Agency in the Enforcement and Intelligence Division. Previously, I also worked as a Junior Policy Analyst at the Public Health Agency in Ottawa. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I volunteered as an Ambassador and Mentor at Go Global, UBC’s exchange program, and as a Junior Policy Analyst for the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation, where my research focused on Multilateral Affairs within the Climate Change Branch. I also volunteered as a Senior Editor for Spheres of Influence, a digital publication dedicated to analyzing issues in international relations. My areas of interest include immigration policy, foreign policy, human rights, environmental and climate policy, disaster management, and social policy.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I chose SFU due to the program's excellent reputation and the opportunity to complete a co-op term. I did three co-op terms during my undergraduate degree and found experiential learning to be extremely valuable, as it allowed me to practice the skills I was learning in the classroom and explore workspaces to discover what I enjoyed and what career path I wanted to take. The Master of Public Policy program at SFU allows me to continue this experiential learning with a co-op term in the summer.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
The Master of Public Policy is a collaborative, rigorous program that provides a well-rounded look at public policy problems and analysis. It balances theory and practical application to develop the skills needed for public policy careers in public, private, and non-governmental organizations.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I am particularly enjoying the research methods courses. I never did any statistics or data analysis courses during my undergrad, so quantitative and qualitative analysis is entirely new to me. Completing group projects, such as the Major Survey Project in which I used Qualtrics and SPSS to analyze Canadians' attitudes towards immigration, have allowed me to expand my research and teamworking skills. I have also thoroughly enjoyed learning R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics, and I look forward to using R to complete another quantitative research project in the near future.
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org