IPPG Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient Announced
The Spring 2017 UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG) Postgraduate Scholarship recipient has been selected. Scholarship recipient Maraika Ropte has just commenced her studies in the new Master of Applied Policy course.
The $5,000 IPPG Postgraduate Scholarship was established in early 2017 to support policy and local government professionals seeking to broaden their knowledge and skills through postgraduate study, and to recognise the often diverse pathways leading to these careers.
Can you tell me about your career?
I have a passion for work that benefits people and has direct positive impacts on the community. Having gained commercial experience working for an international hard commodities trading firm, I have spent the last two years working for a well-known Australian youth cancer charity. In my role I secure vital funding that enable the organisation to run support programs and services for young people affected by cancer, while at the same time advancing the organisation’s strategic goals. Whilst I find this quite rewarding, in my future career I would like to be actively involved in driving change in matters that affect society more broadly. I would like to actively keep ensuring that the interests of vulnerable members of society are met. Being able to provide policy advice to a third sector agency would be incredibly rewarding.
How and why did you become interested in studying policy at postgraduate level?
My undergraduate degree in political science gave me a wonderful foundational understanding of the “big picture”: how states organise themselves and why they react to external influences the way they do. Studying policy now allows me to complement this knowledge by looking at the way stakeholders collaborate and compromise to shape society and our lived experience. Policy work has always been of interest to me, as it has a powerful impact on society and peoples' lives. This course will equip me with the tools and skills needed to develop, implement and evaluate policy. With these skills and an expanded network my goal is that it will enable me to move my career onto the desired path towards policy advisory roles in the third sector.
Why did you choose to study at UTS?
I chose to study this course at UTS for several reasons: The particular offering of core and elective units appeared to me to be the most contemporary and applicable out of all the different Universities’ offerings. The course contents combines theory and practice, enabling me to directly apply the learnings to my work.
The way this course is delivered in block mode as well as by distance allows me to keep working full-time so I can continue to pursue my career goals while studying and directly apply learned content to my work. UTS seems to be known for having flexible course schedules and a student cohort that is also in the workforce at the same time. UTS is also ideally positioned and close to where I live and work.
What do you hope to accomplish while completing your degree?
I am taking this as an opportunity to extend my conceptual and practical skills and I aim to do well in the courses. I am studying this course while working full-time, so I am hoping to pursue my career goals at the same time. I look forward to extending my networks and making connections that I can draw from in my future career.
How do you plan to use your studies to achieve your future career plans?
I am hoping to be able to use the insights about public organisations to help me perform to my best abilities in my current role. My main motivation for embarking on this Master’s degree is to drive my career towards policy advisory and I am hoping the broadened knowledge and skills gained from this degree will enable me to take up those roles and develop a rewarding career.
What does it mean to you to be a UTS IPPG Postgraduate Scholarship recipient?
Well I am incredibly honoured and proud to receive the support from the institute in that way. A Master’s degree is an incredible financial commitment at a time when others are saving for their house deposit or having their first child. And this scholarship is alleviating the stress somewhat while acknowledging my efforts for a career change.