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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

GraSPPers Voice GraSPPers Voice

Opportunities chain to develop an interdisciplinary core for my career

木下真理 (from Japan) 2019年3月修了

The appreciation of global governance for more complex issues in the current society was the main driver of my pursuance of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) at GraSPP. I was interested in international systems or institutions around global issues, especially climate change, and had a strong feeling that I should strengthen an interdisciplinary aspect of my study after I earned my first degree in law. GraSPP was the right place to meet this aspiration.

GraSPP is one of the member departments that organized the “Interdisciplinary Education Program on Ocean Science and Policy” under the UTokyo Ocean Alliance. I benefited tremendously from this field-focused program which influenced my career path. The program provided me with diverse opportunities to understand ocean-related issues.

Firstly, you can take courses in both the social and natural sciences, such as international maritime law and institution, and ocean engineering. Every single class was inspirational in allowing me to understand frontier studies in a classroom with students from different backgrounds, such as systems engineering and agricultural science.

Secondly, I got a chance to do an internship at the Maritime Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan. The assignment of the internship was to suggest policy ideas for the promotion of green maritime transport within ASEAN. Lectures and interviews that I participated in during the internship on maritime administration and international cooperation enriched my insight in the policy-making and implementation process at the bureau. I remembered clearly the day when I gave my presentation to the division’s staff, including the division head. It was a precious time to share a working environment with bureaucrats who support the government.

Lastly, another internship opportunity at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna was an iconic event I had in the final semester of my MPP degree. As an international public policy student, I have been interested in working for international organizations. Luckily, I got a place at the Strategic Planning and Quality Monitoring Division of UNIDO, where I could apply my perspective of public policy. Although it was too short to be fully involved in their long-term planning projects, three months were enough to see the structure of the UN organization, process of their activities for sustainable development, and relations among member states and organizations. Networking in a diverse and lively city enhanced my confidence in boosting my career beyond national level.

Thanks to this series of opportunities, I am excited to start my first career at MLIT, where I can contribute to the sustainability of our development on earth. One great experience leads to another great experience. A new challenge that you find multiplies your potential. If I did not learn about the industrial sector in Vienna, I would not have been able to get a chance to visit Dubai for World Government Summit. Anything you experience at GraSPP within UTokyo can be connected to each other and advance your career and life in general.

I am glad that GraSPP helped me to develop a certain core of study. They had a wide variety of courses throughout the year with professors who are not only from academia but also from the government and business sector. In addition, my international colleagues were awesome to study with. There is no doubt that the past two years as a “GraSPPer” made me ready for future achievements I would like to accomplish for society.