Name: Roberta Kramchynsky
Degree and Year: Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management/BPAPM (06), Carleton University
Other Degree: MBA, University of Ottawa
Occupation: Senior Consultant, Health & Life Sciences, Global Public Affairs, a national public affairs and government relations firm that enables our clients to navigate the public policy environment.
What you love about your work. The work is never the same because you’re interacting with a system that’s constantly changing. Whether we’re analyzing a new regulatory package or following developments in Parliament, we’re always looking to see how it affects our clients and the objectives they are working to achieve.
The most challenging aspect of it. The role of a lobbyist is changing within the public policy sphere. The rules and how they’re interpreted have changed, creating some challenges for our industry. But I think that just creates a new opportunity to demonstrate our value and contribution to the public policy debate.
How did your degree prepare you for this? Government relations—lobbying— is a good fit for BPAPM graduates because this field requires you to understand the machinations behind how governments work. It’s a specialized degree unlike any other in Canada that gives you a unique perspective on how to approach public policy questions from different angles to come up with the best outcomes.
On top of that, by being in Ottawa, we have connections to the public sector and are surrounded by government. That provides a great launching pad for students as they pursue their careers.
What was your favourite class in BPAPM? My favourite was the capstone seminar on public relations, which was a project start-to-finish with a community organization. I also loved the core BPAPM classes. The professors were fantastic and those core courses tied together the different disciplines BPAPM pulls from and helped you see the connections between the many facets of the public policy sphere.
Strategy to success: Finding a way to turn my interest in policy into the work that I do has been key to my success so far – but hard work, continuous learning and a bit of luck have all contributed in a major way.
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