Story

Kristen Pue
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JD/PhD candidate,* Political Science

I hold a BA in Political Science from the University of Alberta. For a summer, I worked as a researcher at the Centre for Constitutional Studies in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law, where I wrote on Canadian Constitutional law and politics.

In the Master of Global Affairs (MGA)​ program at the University of Toronto, I interned with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development at the Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO. I was able to build on this experience in a collaborative client-led project as part of a team that analyzed NATO Partnerships policy and proposed recommendations for how Canada can shape debate on the subject at the 2014 NATO Summit.

The project, supervised by the Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy at the Department of National Defence, allowed me to learn how government policy development unfolds. This experience provided valuable experience consulting for clients and was augmented by another project where I partnered to examine the factors surrounding the development of social impact bonds in Ireland towards developing a strategy for Social Entrepreneurs Ireland on social finance and proposing recommendations to the Irish government.

In addition to these and other professional skills, the MGA provided the framework for me to pursue my academic interests, including research towards my SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarship.

Finally, the MGA program offered the flexibility to undertake research for the Lupina Foundation's Comparative Program on Health and Society MA Social Determinants of Health Fellowship.

In the fall of 2014, I begin a unique degree program—a combined JD and PhD in Political Science. Following the completion of coursework requirements for both degrees, I will begin my dissertation. My proposed dissertation topic will bring together international relations and international legal scholarship, dealing specifically with the interplay between legal and political norms in global governance.

I initially selected the University of Toronto for the innovative focus of the MGA program. Although I was also considering a program in Ottawa, I opted for the MGA program in the Munk School of Global Affairs because it offered greater flexibility and seemed to be more in tune with new modes of global governance.

U of T is centrally located, which means that I can live affordably off campus and experience the vibrancy of Toronto. The city is a fantastic place to live, in part because it is the heart of Canada's business world and in part because it is a hub for Canadian art and culture.

U of T houses some of the country's best academics, both in political science and law. It also invites top practitioners to teach on their areas of expertise, giving students unparalleled exposure to the country's greatest minds.

Successful MGA students can think critically, work well in teams, and multitask effectively. I would advise prospective students to leverage more from their degree by taking advantage of the many opportunities that the Munk School offers outside of class— guest lectures, innovation challenges, research opportunities through labs, and so on. 

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* Kristen Pue is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science.

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