2018 Graduates: Looking Back and Moving Forward
By Trang Nguyen (MPP’19)
Finding One’s Passion at the Intersection of Subjects
Yan Yifei (PhD)
My first impression was how cool it would be to have a School campus inside the Botanic Gardens. Then, of course, other aspects of its charm started to be unveiled - professors were nice and peers came from diverse backgrounds. I am immensely grateful to my supervisor who has not only ignited my early interest in education policy and governance, but also provided valuable guidance at every step along the way.
I am most likely to pursue an academic job at the exciting intersection between governance and accountability, education and development, and China and India. A very famous university in China used to have this as a motto: “Freedom through Truth for Service”. Isn’t it the best summary of the essence of a public policy education?
Missing the School, but Excited to Meet Family
Apoorva Bharadwaj (MPM)
The MPM program is very well designed. It is more focused on the practical aspects of policy making, which are extremely useful for people who are at the middle management level. The School campus is definitely beautiful. Classes are interesting but a bit too long, so I think two hours should be the maximum. My peers make up a really interesting cohort.
Having worked for the Government of India for over 12 years, I wanted to experience and understand governance and policy making in the developed world. I will be joining back the Government of India. One year has been a very long period for me as well as my family. However, in the past one year, I have been attached to Singapore and more so to LKYSPP. I will really miss the School and its environment.
Balancing Being a Student and Being a Mother
Mohana Anita Anthonysamy (MPA)
I was extremely interested in studying at LKYSPP, which has gained a reputation as an excellent training ground for public policy and administration. All classes provided learning opportunities, but some classes provided lessons and skills for life. They formed a very engaging environment. I managed to get ‘A’ for a couple of subjects. My public speaking improved in the subsequent semester after one semester of training from Professor Crabtree.
Last but not least, I managed to juggle my time between being a student, wife, and mother to two toddlers. Brutal choices on how you spend your time is a necessary evil as there will always be a trade-off. If you push your boundaries of limitation, you can achieve beyond your expectations. I'd go back to continue working at the Department of Biosafety. I feel with this additional knowledge in policy and administration, I would be able to contribute better to my work.
Working for Something Greater than Yourself
Philip Lu (Double Degree MPP)
Coming to Singapore the airline lost my luggage. However, I was touched by the willingness of my classmates to offer their help in getting me settled when I had nothing but a bag and the clothes on my back. My interests lay in urban, environmental and security policy, all relevant to Singapore's location and position as a city-state. One of the big benefits is you get much more intimate access to policymakers who visit the School.
I learnt that one of the most underrated skills is the ability to listen, and that there is never a perfect solution in public policy, you just keep making progress. My plan is to return to the US government to work on public land conservation issues. My mother has been a primary inspiration in my pursuing public service. She has worked in the civil service for quite some time now and she emphasized the importance of working for something greater than yourself.