Master of Arts, International Affairs
Julia Hamel’s first encounter with inequity and development work was in Nigeria, where her parents served as aid workers. Since then, she has been driven by a desire to help people actualize their potential and make the world a more equitable place.
Julia volunteered for local community development and refugee organizations during her undergraduate studies at Bishop’s University. Upon graduation, she interned at World University Service Canada, a nonprofit organization in international development, and for the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka. Those experiences led her to NPSIA, where she specialized in international development policy.
“I was drawn to NPSIA because of its reputation and networks, but also because it offered the opportunity to engage with students who specialized in other fields, bringing different perspectives to the table, including conflict analysis, security, and economic considerations,” Julia explains.
One of the highlights of her experience was an independent study course she pursued in Ethiopia last summer, where she volunteered for Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT).
“I learned a lot from this organization, which provides leadership, entrepreneurship and digital skills development for youth,” Julia says. “It was so inspiring to watch the DOT interns ‘learn by doing’ and contribute to the development of their local communities.”
This year, Julia took advantage of NPSIA’s co-op option and worked for the Tanzania development division at Global Affairs Canada. She recently returned to Africa on her own, to visit the country in person.
“I wanted to see the reality on the ground and meet our development partners, as well as Tanzanian youths who are the key to the country’s future,” explains Julia, who plans to return to Global Affairs Canada in the fall. “I never expected so many opportunities. I am humbled and very grateful for these rich experiences.”