Public Policy or Public Affairs?

Whats in a name

Looking at the many available course options for Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees, it’s understandable that you may be confused. Deciding which one is right for you starts with understanding the differences and clarifying what type of career you intend to pursue. With this in mind, here are 3 points to help you make your decision….

  1. In general, the MPP tends to be more research heavy, with a focus on technical skills such as economic and statistical analysis, enabling graduates to research, for example, the social and financial impact of policy, and thus create new, improved policy. The MPA tends to focus more on developing people management, financial management, and leadership skills, enabling graduates to implement policy and ensure it is being followed.
  2. Most MPP and MPA programmes have a wide variety of concentrations and specializations. Some programmes allow you to cross register with other departments and even other universities, meaning that you have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your individual goals. Understanding what you really want from graduate study will help you identify the best match for you. It’s also worth remembering that there is no standard definition for these programmes, so ensure you do your research on each school in detail!
  3. Most MPP and MPA programmes require some work experience, but only some require relevant work experience. Considering your potential network, think about how this will affect your experience.

Overall, both the MPP and MPA degrees are well-respected, professional options for those seeking careers in Public Service. Having helped many students gain acceptance into the top programmes, I recommend clarifying your goals and skill gaps, identifying exactly what you need from a graduate degree, and then researching each programme to find the best fit.

 

Posted by Faye

Questions to consider when developing an MBA resume

An HR professional or Admissions Officer will spend no more than 60 seconds looking through your resume. It is therefore important that your resume be strategically and structurally composed to showcase your skills and maximize impact to the reader.

Think of the resume as a marketing tool for your personal brand that is used to entice AND engage the reader and a means for differentiating you from the competition.

To distinguish yourself, start by asking yourself and thinking through the following:

1. What one or two words best describe you?

2. What kind of leadership skills have you demonstrated and how were they measured?

3. Are you a good listener? Are you articulate? Are you comfortable expressing your opinion in a group setting?

4. What makes you different from the competition? Do you have bi-lingual capabilities? What certifications do you have?

These are just some questions to help you get going.  Please visit the following for more tips on building an effective resume.

http://www.topmba.com/blog/how-create-standout-mba-resume

http://www.vinceprep.com/blog/resumes

Posted by Jumet

大学院の必要性と卒業後の目標について

Why I need MPP-

 

みなさんこんにちは。
今回から、大学院出願で多くの学校が皆さんに質問する事項である、公共政策大学院卒業後の目標についてシリーズでお話しします。

第1回目はアプリケーションの中で最もよく聞かれる質問を題材にしたいと思います。

Please elaborate on why you have chosen to apply to the MIA/MPA program. How will this program enable you to achieve your career goals? Describe your academic and research interests and career objectives.

your career goalsとは何を指すのでしょうか?
国連で国際的な仕事がしたい、日本以外のフィールドで活躍したい?もしくは、国際舞台で活躍できる人材になる!という目標を掲げている方もいらっしゃるかもしれません。
または、具体的な目標を大学院に行って見つけたい という方もいるかもしれません。

しかし、これではこの問いに十分に応えているとは言えません。
なぜ学校がこのような質問を入試の段階で行うのでしょうか?
それは、公共政策大学院はプロフェッショナルスクールであり、卒業後にパブリックセクターに関連した職業人を輩出することを目的としているからです。
※印プロフェッショナルスクールとは、卒業後、専門家として活躍する人材を目指すためのプログラムを指します。

その表れとして、授業の中に、体験学習が組み込まれているプログラムが多くあります。
HKS Spring exercise
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwK-8Zrg5c

こういったプログラムが用意されているのは、学生が就職活動での実績につながる経験を大学院で積んでもらうためです。
入学して半年後には、こういったプロジェクトで具体的なポジションをもって活躍することが求められているのです。
あなたはチームメンバーに対して何ができますか?貢献できますか?これを大学院が知りたがっています。

1年目からのこういった機会でみなさんが能力を発揮するために、入試の段階から、具体的な卒業後の目標を聞いているのです。

次回は卒業後の就職活動という観点でアドバイスをしたいと思います。

Posted by Chizuko Okada

Developing a Personal Brand in MBA Applications

In the competitive world of MBA applications, it is now more important than ever to stand out among other exceptional candidates. Top grades, GMAT scores and strong career growth are no longer sufficient.  Nor is being an engineer with excellent technical skills enough. Now applicants must think beyond their skills and qualifications and develop an application that reflects their personal brand. This personal brand is the key factor that differentiates them from others.

To understand what a personal brand entails, it requires a definition. To many people, a personal brand is an image a person exudes to others. In the context of the MBA application, it is the impression a person leaves with the reader. This impression is critical, as it will impact the result. Since most readers take roughly between 15 to 20 minutes to read through one application, the applicant has a short time to make a lasting impact.

Given this, for many people, the task of creating a personal brand is challenging. To ease this process, the following tips are useful.

1. Reflection

To create a strong personal brand, a person should reflect on his/her professional and personal life and identify reoccurring themes. These themes can be used to contextualize the applicant’s impression to others. For example, even though an applicant worked as an analyst, his area of focus may have been mainly in medical technology. As such, framing the application within the area of medical technology helps the reader visualize the applicant’s background and personal brand.

2. Strategy

Since people are always changing and growing from their experiences, their personal brand can change as well. Given this, it is necessary to be strategic in choosing a personal brand. This process involves an applicant to think beyond his/her own comfort zone and bubble. For example, for most system engineers, their work often requires concentration and singular execution. This profession can be isolating and individualistic. To balance out such an image, an applicant may want to choose a story in his/her MBA essay that connotes strong communication and collaboration skills.   This balanced application creates the personal brand of a well-rounded applicant.

3. Marketing

In MBA applications, marketing one’s personal brand requires tact and lexical awareness. When developing an image to the reader, the applicant should carefully construct the resume, essays, and application using vocabulary that is reflective of the personal brand he/she wants to convey. For example, if the person wants to present an image of a leader, using vocabulary such as directed, managed, and oversaw paints the picture of the brand to the reader. This tactic is important to shape and construct a meaningful personal brand.

Posted by Lee Moua

Before you apply….

MPP, MPA, MIA, MIR, MTop 3 resourcesSFS, MALD….Where to start? Which degree do you need? What do people  with these degrees do? Applying to Grad school can be daunting, but here are 3 resources to make it less so…..

  1. Careers in International Affairs. Published by Georgetown University Press, this book provides an overview of the wide variety of careers available under the very big umbrella of international affairs. From governments to multinational corporations to media, this book provides insights on the jobs available, and how to get them. http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/careers-international-affairs#_ga=1.29401209.754665725.1442231035
  2. APSIA. Featuring profiles of over 60 member schools, admissions events, and career resources, APSIA is a great first step on your admissions journey. http://www.apsia.org
  3. NAASPA. A great search tool that uses your potential specialisation and interests to suggest schools. http://www.naspaa.org

Posted by Faye