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.

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 during the summer between the first and second years of the MPPGA program.

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.

Student Work Terms

MPPGA students secure various paid and relevant work during their summer break between Year 1 and 2.

Whether it is through our popular and robust Co-op program, a United Nations Association of Canada Internship, UBC’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.

See the varied positions our students are employed in below.

  • Alessia Rodriguez, Research Assistant, Professor Nadja Kunz, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
  • Alexandra Martin, Junior Policy Analyst (Co-op Student), Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, Government of Canada
  • Anam Elahi, Co-op Student, International Assistance Policy Bureau, International Assistance Envelope Division, Government of Canada
  • Andrés Peñaloza, Assistant, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP)
  • Beatrice Zano, Research Assistant (Co-op Student), Wellbeing & Benefits at UBC Human Resources
  • Cassandra Jeffery, United Nations Association of Canada Intern, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Cambodia
  • Chengkun Lv, Researcher (Co-op Student), Public Affairs & Communication Department of Huawei
  • Citlali Cruz Cruz, Research Assistant (Sustainability Scholar), Translink
  • Claire Casher, Research Analyst (Co-op Student), Innovation, Science, & Economic Development Canada, Government of Canada (Vancouver)
  • Denby McDonnell, Negotiation Assistant (Co-op Student), Crown Indigenous Relations Northern Affairs
  • Dinoba Krupa, United Nations Association of Canada Intern, UNICEF, Nepal
  • Eliza Bethune, Community Engagement (Co-op Student), Hemmera
  • Emily Enright, Research Assistant, Professor Ramana, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
  • Eseohe Ojo, Summer Digital Tattoo Project Coordinator (Work-Learn Student), Chapman Learning Commons & The Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology, UBC Library
  • Guilherme Rosales, Project Assistant (Work-Learn Student), UBC Arts Co-op Program
  • Hadir Ali, Research Assistant, Professor Sara Shneiderman, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
  • Hafsa Khan, Education and Public Programming Assistant, Museum of Anthropology
  • Hannah Geiser, Program Assistant (Co-op Student), Emergency Management Directorate, Indigenous Services Canada, Government of Canada
  • Heather Park, Co-op / Practicum Student, B.C. First Nations Health Authority
  • Israa Noureddine, Co-op Student, Conference Board of Canada
  • Joshua Tafel, Co-op Student, Program Planning at B.C. Housing
  • Melisha Charles, Information Management Analyst (Co-op Student), B.C. Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure
  • Rasmus Dilling-Hansen, Co-op Student, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • Samantha Coronel, Research Assistant, UBC Professor
  • Sanmini Koffi, Co-op Student, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Schyler Edmundson, Junior Policy Analyst (Co-op Student), Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Canada
  • Shivangi Khanna, Research Assistant (Work-Learn Student), Rural Evidence Review Project with the Department of Family Practice, Center for Rural Health Research
  • Solomon Atta, Co-op Student, City of Vancouver
  • Somi Ajagu-Amamgbo, Co-op Student, Telehealth, First Nations Health Authority
  • Tamara Friedman, Co-op Student, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) - Europe, Arctic, & Middle East
  • Zeynya Shikur Alemayehu, Research Assistant (Sustainability Scholar), The City of Surrey

SPPGA Faculty Mentorship Program

The SPPGA Faculty Mentorship Program pairs professors and students in partnership throughout the year so that you have an academic role model to depend on throughout your graduate journey.

Mentorship programs have a demonstrated impact on improving equity and enhancing learning outcomes, and act as a resource through which you can inquire about your academic and career aspirations, class etiquette, 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, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and the UBC Centre for Student Involvement & Careers.

You are encouraged to attend as many professional development opportunities as possible before graduation. Program staff have listened to student feedback and carefully integrated these opportunities into your time in the MPPGA program.

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 Skills
  • Strategic design methodology
  • Leadership

  • Consultancy 101
  • Customizing your LinkedIn
  • Understanding Canadian workplace norms
  • Peer-to-Peer Study Sessions (PASS)

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