UBC Home Page
UBC Home Page
UBC Home PageUBC Home Page

News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login

MAAPPS Alumni

Post-Graduate Careers

To give you a sense of career prospects, here are some of the job titles of recent graduates gleaned from their LinkedIn profiles:

- Associate Safeguards Information Analyst at international organization, Europe

- Director, Program Development at development NGO, Nepal

- Senior Consultant, Public Affairs at international PR consulting firm, China

- Lawyer

- Foreign Service Officer at development agency

- Analyst, International Assessment Staff, Privy Council Office

- Manager, Emergency Preparedness Directorate, Transport Canada

Name: Kilim Park

MAAPPS DURATION: September 2006-November 2007
THEMATIC STREAM: Economic and Social Change
DEGREES: BA Honours in History with International Relations, UBC
MOST RECENT EMPLOYMENT: Program Advisor, Provincial Nominee Program, BC Government.
 
·         What drew you to the MAAPPS program?
An opportunity to study policy with a focus on Asia.
 
·         What is the most valuable thing you took out of it?
There are a few that I can mention here. First of all, definitely, the people I met through the classes and practicum, and the connections I have built and kept as a result. I owe to MAPPS (that was my generation’s acronym for the program) for introducing me to some of my life-long friends and mentors.

My practicum at the Canadian Embassy in Indonesia was a life-changing experience to say the least. It served as a reality check on my understanding of key global issues and as a valuable opportunity to try policy work in the field of my interest.

Some of my favourite classes ever were offered through MAAPPS: Professor Potter’s “Selective Adaptation,” Economic and Social Change stream seminar, and Mining in Mongolia seminar.

·         What are the weaknesses or drawbacks or things you consider could be changed in MAAPPS?
A very small group of alumni: I feel this is something that can be changed, now that the program has been in existence for some time. During my time, we didn’t have as many alumni we can tap into for advice and guidance, especially on job finding strategies and career choices.

More interactions with the professionals working in the field: We spent a lot of time in the classroom, and that was probably the reason why my practicum turned out to be such an eye-opening experience for me.

·         Can you explain your career path from graduation to today?
Immediately following the practicum, I worked for a Hong Kong-based NGO called Asian Migrant Centre/Mekong Migration Network for a couple of months working on a series of publication on migration. After that, I was in Korea for a year working for UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), and then briefly back in Vancouver working on immigrant public legal education issues with a consortium of local settlement agencies. Before taking up my current job with the BC Government, I worked at Service Canada in Toronto for two years managing government funding for youth employment programs.
 
·         Are you doing policy related work?
I would say my work is on the policy implementation side rather than the policy making or analysis side.
 
·         What advice would you have for students entering/leaving the program this year?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Choose to go where you haven’t gone before. If you’re going overseas for practicum or research, make sure you’ll be open to opportunities where everything you have known and learned so far will be challenged.

 

Name: Jin Chien     

MAAPPS DURATION: Sept. 2008 – May 2010
THEMATIC STREAM: Governance and Human Rights
DEGREES: Bcom, JD, MAAPS
MOST RECENT EMPLOYMENT: present (internship)
UPDATE: Living and working in Cambodia until January, 2012
 
·         What drew you to the MAAPPS program?
o   The focus on Asia Pacific affairs, policy, and relations as opposed to a broader degree that is international in scope
 
·         What is the most valuable thing you took out of it?
o   The development of policy research and briefing skills, including the ability to analyze a policy issue, identify the players, and make feasible recommendations within institutional constraints
 
·         What are the strengths of MAAPPS?
o   Collegiality of classmates
o   Expertise and experience of professors and advisors
o   The targeted focus on Asia Pacific policy issues within the thematic streams
 
·         What are the weaknesses or drawbacks or things you consider could be changed in MAAPPS?
o   None that I can think of
 
·         What was your favorite memory of the program?
o   Group activities including: Christmas and Lunar New Year receptions, group presentations, socializing with classmates in the lounge and carrels, the MAAPPS Graduate Conference, and attending IAR lectures and screenings.
 
·         What was your first step out of the program?
o   I articled at a community legal clinic that provides pro bono legal services to members of the Chinese and Southeast Asian communities in Toronto
 
·         Was MAAPPSSA in existence at the time? How useful was the student association for your cohort or yourself?
o   Yes, I was the MAAPSSA student representative during the 2008-2009 year
o   Yes, it was useful. It was important to have student representation during IAR Council meetings as it allowed students’ concerns to be heard
 
·         How has the MAAPPS program personally affected your ways of thinking and learning?
o   The program has taught me to approach policy issues in a structured and efficient manner. It has also allowed me to hone advanced research, writing, and analytical skills. Lastly, through the program, I have improved my time management and teamwork capabilities.
 
·         Could you summarize the uniqueness of the MAAPPS program?
o   Classes that are small in size and targeted in scope
o   Friendly, collegial academic environment
o   Coursework that is a balanced combination of public policy and international affairs/relations
 
·         Can you explain your career path from graduation to today?
o   After graduation, I articled at the above mentioned legal clinic for 10 months. Currently, I am a legal intern at the Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
 
·         Are you doing policy related work?
o   No, not at the moment.
 
·         What advice would you have for students entering/leaving the program this year?
o   Focus on developing relationships in the program, both with students and faculty
o   Take courses and choose practicum placements that interest you and that you are passionate about
o   Be open to various opportunities after graduation. Many MAAPS graduates in my cohort are working in the private sector. Others are working in UN or government agencies. While the program is a useful tool for a career in public policy, it also prepares graduates for a variety of career paths.

 

Name: Basanta Pokharel
MAAPPS DURATION: September 2009-May 2011
THEMATIC STREAM: Governance and Human Rights
DEGREES: MA in Asia Pacific Policy Study
MOST RECENT EMPLOYMENT: Niti Foundation (Nepal) and Research for Action, Policy Innovation and Development (Canada-Nepal)
 
·         What drew you to the MAAPPS program?
Working in community development sector for many years, I realized that a fine balance between   “micro” and “macro” is critical for the effectiveness of development projects. I believe I rightly thought  MAPPPS was centered on deliberations and explorations of global policy issues that would complement my local experience well. After all, these global policy issues would eventually influence projects in the developing nations.
 
·         What is the most valuable thing you took out of it?
Although policy engagement was not a new area for me, this program exposed me to various   dimensions of policy work, and then enabled me to choose an area of focus. In my case, it is public policy and its relationship with local governance and a much broader political economy.
 
·         What are the strengths of MAAPPS?
Not only MAPPS offers a range of courses that help analyze policy issues through different disciplinary lenses, but there is also a great deal of openness and flexibility on part of the department to cater to students’ specific academic interests. In addition, I personally was touched by department’s seriousness to resolve students’ personal and financial problems.
 
·         What are the weaknesses or drawbacks or things you consider could be changed in MAAPPS?
I believe MAPPS can further improve by focusing equally on supply and demand sides of policymaking. Another idea is to introduce a module that hinges on rigorous policy analysis. The “skills” dimension I believe will complement the “perspective - building” side very well. I am perhaps referring to the likes of “Policy Project” course albeit with a much higher volume of simulations.
 
·         What was your favorite memory of the program?
I think the students-organized Policy Conference was the highlight. Besides, I also enjoyed lectures from a wide range of guest speakers around the world (Professor Amartya Sen for example), discussions with think tanks, and dinners with renowned personalities.
 
·         What was your first step out of the program?
I along with two other colleagues from the same cohort have founded an NGO in Canada: Research for Action, Policy Innovation and Development. The idea is to support policy discourse and strengthen public policy process in developing nations. We are starting with Nepal and have finished a couple of research works thus far. It is still very early days though.
 
·         How has the MAAPPS program personally affected your ways of thinking and learning?
From my experience, I can say that sometimes it is very difficult to separate policy work and disciplinary work (for example, health or Education), because traditionally in Nepal it has been one and the same thing. Now rather than focusing on disciplinary issues alone, I think from public policy angle. It may mean bringing into the debates issues pertaining to accountability, representation, viability, participation, and drawing on various models or frameworks of policy processes.
 
·         Can you explain your career path since MAPPS?
There are three things that I have been able to do since MAPPS. First, I worked with Niti (Policy) Foundation in Nepal and conducted a study on Diagnostic Analysis of Public Policy Process in Nepal. The study was led by Professor Deborah Stone (author Policy Paradox) and we are hoping this would open up new avenues of policy work in Nepal in coming days. Second, I took up a consultancy to assess needs of Nepal’s National Health Plan. It was a kind of a preliminary assessment to determine the issues and processes that need attention in the revision. My role was to assess the weakness and strengths from public policy perspective. Third, I co-founded Research for Action, Policy Innovation and Development (RAPID) in Canada that will collaborate with NGOs and academic institutions from Nepal in policy deliberation and research.
 
·         What advice would you have for students entering/leaving the program this year?
MAPPS is well positioned to expand on existing disciplinary knowledge as well as to build skills in policy as a discipline. It is up to the students to see this early and choose a path.
 
  
Section Menu:
Current Students
Alumni
Links
LinkedIn
Courses
Prospective Students