Professional & Career Development

Further evolve your skills through our professional and career development opportunities, including the Co-op program, skills training, and more.


The UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs strongly believes in professional and career development for all of our students. We provide personalized support to help you gain the professional experience and skills you will need for real-world impact.

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The experience of working with real clients through the Global Policy Project, the UNFPA, and my MPPGA courses have all laid a strong foundation and given me the tools and skills to be equipped for my job.

Hyun Ju Lee
MPPGA

New Career Possibilities

The MPPGA program trains you in a foundation of policy skills and knowledge in global affairs.

  • Address complex challenges and drive positive global change as policy or market analysts, senior policy officers and foreign policy strategists
  • Advance sustainability as renewable energy specialists in corporations and sustainability advisors in government
  • Lead policy development and stakeholder engagement as directors of policy
  • Change how policy solutions are designed and communicated as directors of communication
  • Advocating policies through NGOs and managing policies for international development organizations
  • Strategic communications and digital diplomacy
  • Project management
  • Data analysis
  • Evaluation and needs assessment
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Research services
  • Government relations
  • External relations
  • Regulatory and environmental affairs
  • Global security
  • Technical writing
  • Social service delivery
  • Immigration and refugee services

MPPGA Alumni hold positions in an array of policy roles in diverse sectors around the world.

  • Policy Officer, Department of National Defence-ADM Policy
  • Gender Program Manager, Environmental Sustainability Lead, Aga Khan Development Network (Egypt)
  • Intergovernmental Relations Advisor, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, Office of the Premier, B.C.
  • Public Management Consultant, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Chile)
  • Policy Analyst, Trade and Investment, Low-Carbon Energy Sector, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Research & Evaluation Officer, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Policy Analyst, NATO Operations and Human Security, Global Affairs Canada
  • Associate, UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (China)
  • Program Evaluation Analyst, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
  • Senior Specialist, Sustainability and External Affairs, Newmont Goldcorp Corporation
  • Senior Communications and Engagement Lead, TransLink, B.C.
  • Research Associate, National Institute for Environmental Studies (Japan)
  • Policy Analysis and Government Relations Specialist, Woodfibre LNG
  • Public Policy Coordinator, City Clerk’s Office, City of Vancouver
  • Business Expertise Consultant, Service Canada
  • Director of Development and Communications, Westcoast Family Centres Society, B.C.
  • Analyst, Castlemain
  • Planning and Projects Associate, Richmond Fire-Rescue, City of Richmond, B.C.
  • Director of Research, Green Tech Asia
  • COO & Managing Partner, Stratego Solutions

Personalized Support

We offer Work Term opportunities to all MPPGA students. The MPPGA program is designed to promote flexibility during your first summer for you to develop core competencies and knowledge considered vital for policy practice anywhere in the world.

As a MPPGA student, you will benefit from personalized support for your career planning. We provide you with individual professional development coaching, mentorship, and facilitate relevant opportunities for you to advance your career goals.

MPPGA Co-op Program

The MPPGA Co-operative Education (Co-op) Program allows you to acquire full-time, meaningful work experience specific to relevant professions as a compliment to your classroom learning. It is open to domestic and international students to apply. The program is competitive and intensive, offering paid jobs in government, non-profit, and private industry for successful applicants. It is facilitated by the UBC Arts Co-op Program.

Work terms occur either during the summer between your first and second years of the MPPGA program or begin in September of your second year.

As a Co-op graduate, you will be well prepared, academically and professionally, for your future careers as policy practitioners in diverse sectors around the world.

Important: Co-op and work term opportunities may be impacted by changes in policies or necessary safety measures due to COVID-19.

Student Work Terms

You have the option to pursue paid and relevant work during your summer break between Year 1 and 2 or beginning in September of your second year.

Whether it is through our popular and robust MPPGA Co-op Program, a United Nations Association of Canada InternshipUBC’s Work Learn program, the UBC Sustainability Scholars program (paid research work), assisting a professor with their research, or an independent option, you will gain meaningful, professional experience during your first summer in the program.

Important: Co-op and work term opportunities may be impacted by changes in policies or necessary safety measures due to COVID-19.

See a sample of the employers our students have completed work terms with below.

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Cambodia
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Nepal
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC) - Europe, Arctic, & Middle East
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Emergency Management Directorate, Indigenous Services Canada, Government of Canada
  • Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security, Department of National Defence (DND)
  • Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, Government of Canada
  • International Assistance Policy Bureau, International Assistance Envelope Division, Government of Canada
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • B.C. First Nations Health Authority
  • B.C. Privy Council Office
  • Department of Family Practice, Center for Rural Health Research
  • Translink
  • Community Engagement office, Hemmera
  • Conference Board of Canada
  • Program Planning, B.C. Housing
  • B.C. Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure
  • Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • The City of Vancouver
  • The City of Surrey
  • The City of Kelowna
  • UBC, including the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, School of Community and Regional Planning, Arts Co-op, and the Museum of Anthropology

MPPGA Mentorship Program

The MPPGA Mentorship Program pairs first year students with faculty and second year students with policy professionals over the short term or throughout the year so that you have a role model to depend on during your graduate journey.

Mentorship programs have a demonstrated impact on improving equity and enhancing learning outcomes, and mentors act as a resource through which you can inquire about your academic and career aspirations and self-improvement.

Professional Skills Training

As an MPPGA student, you will enjoy exclusive access to a series of professional skills opportunities organized by staff, students and faculty.

Designed to develop skills and competencies and improve employment readiness for the policy professions, these learning events will cover a wide range of topics, including presentation skills, team collaboration, intercultural communications, job search skills such as resume and cover letter writing, interview practice, informational interviews, and networking.

We facilitate opportunities for students to leverage UBC resources to further develop their skills. Our campus partners include MITACS, UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and the UBC Centre for Student Involvement & Careers.

Our signature event is the annual “Job Search Skills for the Policy Professions” conference, where we facilitate peer-to-peer learning and networking with policy practitioners.

The program has also offered the following professional training opportunities:

  • Presenting with Credibility
  • Collaboration
  • Strategic design methodology
  • Leadership
  • Understanding intersectionality
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Interviewing
  • Networking

  • Job Negotiation
  • Consultancy 101
  • Storytelling for professionals
  • Customizing your LinkedIn
  • Understanding Canadian workplace norms
  • Peer-to-Peer Study Sessions (PASS)
  • CliftonStrengths assessment (previously StrengthsFinder)

The MPPGA program seeks to cultivate policy skills, knowledge, and networks that will support you as you work towards your professional goals.

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