Could you tell us about your background and your main motivations and objectives for your studies?
I completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Toronto, then spent a year working in insurance and transitioned into consulting. I always knew that graduate school was on the time horizon for me; it was just a matter of when. I set a goal of three years of work and started applying to graduate school. I’m thrilled that I did!
I wanted to transition into monetary policy and thought that a technical degree in public administration and global affairs would be a great fit.
What drew you to the LSE/Toronto double MPA/MGA degree?
It’s pretty interesting how I came to find out about the LSE/Toronto double MPA/MGA degree. I applied to the LSE and the Munk School separately back in December of 2020. Both schools had their own draws. LSE has an impressive international reputation within the field of economics, which was the policy area I wanted to specialize in. While the Munk School was based in Canada, which is eventually where I wanted to settle. I had a specular experience at UofT for my undergraduate degree; however, I wanted to experience education outside of Canada, so I applied to both schools.
The LSE/Toronto double MPA/MGA degree did not exist when I first applied, so when it came time to decide. I dived a little deeper and found out that the program was inviting its first cohort in the 2021-2022 academic year.
What have been your key takeaways from your studies so far?
Any piece of policy written needs empirical evidence and qualitative rigour to motivate action from all vested parties within the political sphere. Not all policies will work when replicated, so the answers to a problem can always change. This program has given me the skillset to frame those arguments and confidently present my findings.
Where/what are your favourite places and things to do in London?
There are amazing parks in the city to spend time with your friends; I would highly recommend: Hampstead Heath, Regent’s Park, and Clapham Common. There is also a fantastic nightlife scene in the city!
How do you make the most of being a #partoflse?
Getting involved in societies was an essential aspect of my time here at the LSE. I was a part of the LSESU Central Banking Society, LSESU Consultancy Society, LSE LGBTQ+ Society. Joining these societies opens up many opportunities that can’t be found solely in the SPP. Aside from that, my coursemates come from many different parts of the world, and I think that has brought us all together. We organized initiatives to go to other parts of the UK or hold global dinners to try cuisine from all around the world.
What advice would you give to prospective and incoming students?
Do not fear to ask questions, and seek additional help where you need it most. Everyone is here to do the same thing! Learn. Doing so may also help others around you learn, so it’s always better to fully understand a topic than leave it to the last minute.
Do you have any book or podcast recommendations?
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
- Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
- Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoğlu and James A. Robinson
- Freakonomics Radio
- The Demand Side
- Making Gay History
What are you most looking forward to in your second year at Toronto?
I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family back home. A year aboard at the LSE has been an absolute privilege for me, so I can’t wait to tell them all about it. I’m also looking forward to specializing in a topic for my second year in Toronto. I’m leaning towards Markets!
How would you describe your SPP experience in three words?
Challenging, gratifying, unforgettable