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Charlotta Falenius

MSc Public Policy, 2010–2011

Charlotta Falenius

Charlotta Falenius, MSc Public Policy, 2010–2011.

With a MSc in Global Political Economy from the University of Helsinki and prior experience from the European Commission, by choosing the School of Public Policy at UCL, I was seeking a Master’s degree that combined a focus on the national policy process, public economics, and project management with a comprehensive training on research methods.

UCL was an obvious choice as it stood out with its high standards in cross-disciplinary research, history as a progressive university, and a campus at the heart of London ideal for the study of public policy. Moreover, the opportunity the School of Public Policy offered to create a highly integrated degree by taking classes on project management from UCL’s faculty of engineering sciences was a significant added value. An aspect which I particularly appreciated at the School was the small group classroom debates with practical case studies and exercises. I greatly valued the engagement and dedication of the professors to their subjects and readiness to give insightful guidance on their areas of expertise.

In addition to my academic experience, I thoroughly enjoyed the wide range of extracurricular activities UCL’s student body and London provided. I worked at UCL’s disability service, took part in the activities of the Nordic Society, and utilised the student ticket program for London Symphony Orchestra.

Following graduation from UCL, I started work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland first at the permanent delegation to the European Union in Brussels and then in Helsinki as a Desk Officer in the unit for External Economic Relations. At the Ministry I coordinated national positions for legislative reforms, trade agreements, and WTO accessions liaising with relevant public and private sector representatives.

Following my experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I was offered an opportunity to work on WTO accessions as an Associate Expert at the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint UN-WTO agency, which prompted me to move to Geneva. I began managing trade related technical assistance projects to facilitate the dialogue between public and private sectors in the WTO accession process of developing countries. So far, missions have taken me to Ethiopia, Liberia, Sudan, Lao PDR, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Comoros. The project management tools and knowledge of the policy process I acquired at UCL have served me well when designing capacity building workshops, studies, and trainings for our stakeholders and holding speeches on their effect.

As my career progressed, the value of my comprehensive training in public policy at UCL and the complementary ITC organised courses at World Trade Institute and Harvard Law School became evident. With its focus on the role of the many stakeholders in the policy process, economic considerations, and research methods, the MSc Public Policy programme at UCL provided me with a strong base for a career in trade policy and advocacy with a well-rounded understanding of the policy-making process.

(Profile provided September 2014)

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