Marianne's "Next Steps" - Back in Canada!

Three months after the completion of my placement with the United Nations Development Programme in Jakarta, Indonesia, through UNA-Canada's International Development & Diplomacy Internship Programme, I have settled back into life in Canada and taken the next big step down the path of my career.  As a new policy analyst in policy and regulatory coordination at Employment and Social Development Canada – the Canadian government’s department for all things social development, including education and training, unemployment support, disability issues, pensions, and low-income family support – I know that there are key lessons learned and experiences had as a JPC that I will carry forward in my work.

Having spent my time at UNDP working on various social issues, such as access to medicine, the Sustainable Development Goals, and youth engagement, I developed a stronger appreciation for the interconnectedness of social development issues. Furthermore, I saw the impact that supposedly domestic policies can have on populations around the world, reinforcing my determination to apply a ‘global citizen’ lens to all the work that I do in the future.

Another key lesson that I learned at UNDP is the value of ensuring strong communication lines within an organization – an important lesson that applies to all organizations, but especially bureaucratic ones. Taking initiative to make informal connections and reach out to others within an organization can create and maintain a valuable network that makes organizational objectives a lot easier to achieve.

Lastly, chairing the youth engagement group at UNDP Indonesia taught me that incredible opportunities come to those who create those opportunities for themselves. Taking initiative and stepping into a leadership role (whilst batting away the feelings of imposter’s syndrome) can give you the chance to create and achieve in a way that would otherwise not be possible.  


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