Alumni Reflections


Tabrina Clelland
Graduation Year: 2013
Current Position(s): Senior Planner, Policy Development at TransLink & Political Science Instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

My two years as a student in SFU’s MPP program were enhanced by our cohort of students who became close, and in some cases, life-long friends. Now, years later, we’ve expanded into a fantastic network of supportive and well-connected policy professionals eager to see each other succeed.

In MPP, I gained a set of skills that are absolutely foundational to the work I do everyday. I learned how to approach, define, and deconstruct problems and action a rigorous process to make decisions, weigh trade-offs, and communicate recommendations. This skillset is tangible, actionable, and practical—and completely transferrable to a variety of career choices that require strategic thinking and decision making.

Gregg Johnstone
Graduation Year: 2019
Current position: Researcher/Analyst, Strategic Policy Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada

The SFU MPP program presents an incredible opportunity to learn the fundamentals of policy analysis, providing key building-blocks for understanding both the relevant theories and practical aspects of working in public policy. In the first year, the support provided by both your own cohort and the “second-years” makes the program’s rigorous content that much more engaging, enjoyable, and manageable. Outside the classroom, the “doors” than can open through networking and real-world experience during the Co-op term, Capstone, and BCP/major first-year project have the potential to kick-start your career following completion of the program.

Melissa Kruger
Graduation Year: 2014 
Currently employed in Government of Northwest Territories

Being accepted into SFU’s Master of Public Policy was one of the defining experiences of my life. I found a cohort of follow students with whom I formed strong friendships (in fact, our entire co-hort remains in touch with each other to this day), a supportive and vibrant approach to research and learning, and professors and staff with a true love for their faculty, students, and subject matters. The co-op and Capstone options were key to my interest in SFU’s program and they did not disappoint. The co-op program is well organized and provided access to top policy work across the country (and internationally).  The expectations of the Capstone project are rigorous and, together with course work, provided a solid ground in analytical, interpersonal, and presentation skills that I benefit from to this day.

Liam Moran
Graduation Year: 2018
Currently employed in federal public service

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) program and its mandatory co-op work term has opened up career path for me that I could never have imagined before I started the program in 2016. I was fortunate enough to land a co-op position at Transport Canada’s Marine Safety & Security branch in Vancouver and have yet to leave the Department, working there part-time throughout my second year and being brought on full-time upon graduation. Now, I work as Policy Analyst in the Coordination & Policy branch working closely with senior management in the region to support major departmental initiatives such as the Oceans Protection Plan and National Trade Corridors Fund. I’ve learned a lot in a field I had little to no experience in before my co-op term. MPP not only gave me the technical skills to work in the public sector, but also confidence in pushing myself forward in my career.

Quinn Yu
Graduation Year: 2014
Currently employed in the BC Public Service

The Simon Fraser University’s Masters of Public Policy program was instrumental in launching my career with the public service. The cohort based learning environment allowed for very enriching discussions on complicated issues. Students and faculty members all fostered an inclusive and open space to share ideas, challenge assumptions, and dig into root causes of various policy problems. I found all faculty members extremely engaging, and very interested in each individual student’s success. This was really apparent during the capstone project, when several faculty members provided comments and suggestions to enhance the analysis. The combination of the faculty support, challenging capstone project, and the co-op term allowed me to quickly secure a policy analyst role and set me up for plenty of success!