Alumni of the Academy
Academy alumni have taken the skills and experiences learned in their time at Edinburgh to a variety of sectors and role. Our students are able to parlay their time at Edinburgh into careers that fit their professional and intellectual passions, in part because of the focus of our curriculum on bridging theory and practice and the interdisciplinary nature of the work. In particular, the capstone project placement component of the MPP Programme has allowed students to get experience working in organisations of interest, fostering connections between their academic endeavours and the practice of policy.
Below some of our alumni share their experiences in the Academy Programmes, and how their time at Edinburgh directly influenced their work today.
"The MPP programme, with its combination of classroom-teaching and work-based placements, offered me an excellent grounding in both the theoretical and working aspects of public policy. Coupled with a cohort that was diverse both in terms of regions and disciplines, the programme exposed me to a wide range of concepts and perspectives, which helped build and enrich my understanding of the subject."
"Currently I work in government relations at an information and communications trade association in Washington D.C. In my role I frequently engage with member companies and policy officials to facilitate discussions and achieve policy goals. The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree at the University of Edinburgh provided me with the fundamental skills to be successful in this position and beyond. Academy courses focused on expanding our knowledge of the entirety of the policymaking process and also developing the practical and analytical skills necessary to navigate it. Policy practitioners, group discussions, and group projects were staples in each class, proving us further opportunities to engage with policymakers and our peers. Students were able to apply these skills further during our capstone project, providing us with additional exposure and invaluable experience at a policymaking organization. While doing my capstone at the Electoral Reform Society, I was able to work on a research paper analyzing the role of citizens in the constitutional future of the United Kingdom following the Scottish independence referendum."
"The Academy of Government’s Master of Public Policy Programme taught me the hands-on skills necessary to be successful in thepolicy world. Learning not only through traditional academics, the AoG’s MPP programme provides a unique approach by bringing in practitioners to obtain first hand insight into various areas of policy, which gave me a well rounded understanding of the in and outs of policymaking. Ultimately, this led me to a role on the the Digital Engagement Team at Scottish Government. This team is giving hands-on support and guidance to policy professionals to learn to use digital tools to be more transparent, more collaborative and encouraging greater citizen engagement; helping colleagues reach and engage more people through the web and social media."
"I joined the MPP in September 2013 with a background in Economics and Mathematics and with a desire to dedicate my career to public service, particularly to the developing world. As part of my Capstone Placement, I joined the United Nations Development Programme – Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama City, Panama for a 4-month internship within the Democratic Governance area. During my placement, I was involved in a number of projects dealing with topics such as decentralization, local governance, political participation, transparency and accountability, among others. After my placement was finalized, I was offered a contract as a Research Assistant for the area, where I have continued to provide support to the Organization’s regional projects and initiatives. The experience has given me the opportunity to understand the international cooperation and development world, and the practical and analytical skills I acquired during my time at Edinburgh have been essential for my work."
"I currently work as a consultant to the United States federal government, and have been on projects with the Department of Defense,the General Services Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I also recently contributed to a book published in South Korea by DAMDI called North Korean Atlas, and I have been able to leverage my Masters degree into opportunities to contribute to news sites and organizations around the globe, including the crowd-sourced analysis firm Wikistrat. None of this would have been possible without the education I received at the Academy of Government. My courses here gave me the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate and succeed in the complex 21st century workplace."
"The Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree at the University of Edinburgh provided me with the necessary policy, research, theory, and practical skills to advance my career and achieve my professional goals. Diverse teaching methods, including lectures from core teaching staff who are experts in their field, class discussions, group work, and guest lectures delivered by established policymakers, provided me with an exceptional student experience. My Capstone Project, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), provided me with invaluable industry experience and an opportunity to create a policy oriented analytical paper. Upon completion of the MPP, I was hired by the University of Edinburgh as an Admissions Project Officer and now I am employed as a Funding Policy Officer at the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). Before starting my degree, I felt that my career had hit a roadblock. I was bored and not in a place to progress. Now I feel that the sky is the limit. I constantly feel challenged and professionally gratified."