Graduate Program Assistant

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, BC (30+ days ago)

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Job Posting

Job ID:

Vancouver - Point Grey Campus

Employment Group:
CUPE 2950 (Cler/Secr/Library)

Job Category:
CUPE 2950 Grad Student Support

Classification Title:
Grad Student Support 1 (Gr3)

Business Title:
Graduate Program Assistant

Faculty of Arts

Public Policy, School of

$42,732.00 (Annual)

Full/Part Time:

Desired Start Date:

Job End Date:
Possibility of Extension:


Funding Type:
Budget Funded

Closing Date:

Available Openings:

Job Summary

The School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) seeks to be a leading centre for innovation in governance and global public policy. The School is home to the Liu Institute for Global Issues (LIU), the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI), the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), the Office of Regional and International Community Engagement (ORICE), and the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) which includes 5 distinct research centres focusing on Southeast Asia, India and South Asia, China, Korea, and Japan.

The SPPGA's flagship academic program, the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA), is a professional global public policy program with particular expertise in Asia Pacific and sustainability policy. The School also provides program management, student advising, and administrative support for the interdisciplinary International Relations (IR) program and delivers over 150 events per year. The SPPGA offers a wide range of non-degree and non-academic educational programming including the Institute for Future Legislators (IFL), the Women in House Program, the Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP), the Lind Initiative speaker series, and the Policy@UBC series among others.

This position provides graduate support to the MPPGA program by providing front-line assistance to incoming, current and prospective students; assisting with the coordination and delivery of professional development and career-related events/activities, providing administrative coordination and support for the MPPGA Global Policy Project (GP2); and providing general administrative support to the Graduate Director and teaching faculty.

Organizational Status

Reports to the Graduate Program Manager and receives direction from the Career & Co-op Coordinator on a project basis. Works under the general guidance of the Graduate Director and Manager, Student Academic Services. Interacts and collaborates frequently with SPPGA faculty, staff, and students. Communicates and coordinates regularly with staff from other departments and units across campus.

Work Performed

Student Services & Communications

  • Responds to in-person and telephone inquiries from current and prospective students. Monitors and coordinates the distribution of, and response to, all email inquiries sent to the MPPGA program inbox. Escalates more complex inquires to the Graduate Program Manager.
  • Liaises with prospective graduate students and advises students on issues such as requirements for admission and course registration. Makes appropriate cross-campus referrals for applicants with questions regarding student housing, financial planning, immigration requirements, and employment authorization.
  • Maintains and updates the graduate student database of current students. Updates personal information, student progress, awards and assistantships. Generates reports on student progress for faculty members and the Graduate Director.
  • Assists with the implementation of student orientation, professional development and career-related events as well as other MPPGA co-curricular activities. This includes placing catering orders, scheduling workshops and events, coordinating room bookings and classroom set-up, advertising events and creating/monitoring RSVP links.
  • Regularly communicates events, job opportunities, scholarships, program and policy updates, and other important information to current students through the MPPGA Portal student website. Adjusts communications content and processes based on feedback from the graduate students, the Student Academic Services team, and other SPPGA committees and staff.
  • Explores new ways of communicating with students and makes recommendations to the MPPGA program team.
Professional Development & Career Support

  • Coordinates with recruiters on the timing of sessions and gathers/organizes materials required for events.
  • Ensures that facilitators' invoices are received and paid, liaising with financial staff to process payments. Organizes invoices and tracks spending of the professional development budget.
  • Collates and organizes presentation, workshop, and other activity materials. Organizes and updates career materials for MPPGA students as directed.
  • Organizes and maintains general files and documents for MPPGA partners, projects, and placements. Drafts, launches, & analyses survey findings on professional development and career support components.
  • Provides clerical support to the PPGA 509, 510, and 511 course instructors including but not limited to: placing orders with the bookstore and library for course materials; sourcing course materials as directed by instructors; ensuring appropriate classrooms are booked with needed size and technology on a non-regular course schedule, liaising with the MPPGA Program Coordinator as needed.
  • Provides clerical support for organizing and tracking StrengthsFinders results; tracking all professional development and career-related events to ensure no major conflicts occur with other courses, and making recommendations to the Co-op & Career Manager.
  • Collates and organizes sample resumes; assists with the creation of presentations, emails & other copy.
  • Shares insights on possible gaps in services/resources with the MPPGA program team; assists with the identification of cross-campus opportunities for partnership & engagement.
Global Policy Project (GP2) Coordination

  • Supports the Manager, Academic Services with all administrative arrangements for the MPPGA Global Policy Project (GP2).
  • Coordinates logistical and administrative aspects of GP2 program implementation including: coordinating travel plans under the guidance of the course instructor and Manager, Academic Services; assisting with correspondence between clients and the MPPGA program on administrative questions and concerns; processing financial requests associated with staff and faculty travel; and administering travel awards allocated to students.
  • Books flights and coordinates travel requirements for student groups travelling to international GP2 destinations and other program related international opportunities.
  • Collects, organizes, and distributes reporting information for GP2 projects, both internally and externally; maintains and updates a database of GP2 policy reports.
General Administration

  • Provides personal and confidential support to the Graduate Director. Composes routine correspondence and prepares written responses for the Graduate Director's signature.
  • Performs general administrative tasks, including office supply orders, meeting scheduling, and note taking.
  • Provides administrative support to the Student Academic Services team on the curriculum development and consultation processes.
  • Responds to faculty inquiries and requests for support, redirecting requests as appropriate. Supports the onboarding and coordination of Teaching Assistants each academic year.
  • Provides course-related faculty support for new curriculum initiatives with applied and/or experiential learning components.
  • Provides back-up support to the SPPGA receptionist and MPPGA Program Coordinator as required, including but not limited to front-line assistance and communications to prospective, incoming and current students.
  • Performs other related duties as required.
Supervision Received

Reports to the Graduate Program Manager and receives direction from the Career & Co-op Coordinator on a project basis. Works under the general guidance of the Graduate Director and Manager, Student Academic Services. Works independently with direction, guidance and consultation.

Supervision Given


Consequence of Error/Judgement

This position plays a key role in the creation of an outstanding learning experience and has a direct impact on the quality of the programs and services offered in SPPGA. Failure to perform the duties as outlined would have a negative impact on the teaching conditions and student experience. Errors may lead to inefficiency of operation, unmet deadlines and loss of valuable time and opportunities for students and instructors. Lack of cross-cultural sensitivity in communicating with students may cause serious misunderstandings and damage to the reputation of the program and School.

The incumbent will be required to tactfully manage interactions with current and prospective students and undertake event coordination. This will require sound judgement and thorough knowledge of the program's guidelines, procedures and regulations and the ability to interpret and apply them. All information must be accurate and provided in a respectful, timely and supportive manner. Failure to provide service that meets these standards could have a negative impact on the student experience, the reputation of the program, and the University more broadly. The incumbent must exercise judgement when problems arise with established routines, deciding which issues to refer to the manager and which to solve independently.


High School graduation and one year of related training. 2 years of related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline preferred. Advanced computer experience required using Windows format in Mac and PC environment. Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), HTML, Connect, WordPress, and the UBC Student Information Service Centre (SISC). Experience with on-line portals and writing for the web an asset. Experience providing administrative, clerical and/or event support to a team in a professional or educational setting. Event planning and some financial skills and experience are preferred. Executive assistant experience is an asset. Experience with design software such as Photoshop, Piktochart is considered an asset. Experience, knowledge of, or exposure to an international policy environment considered an asset.

Must exercise initiative, tact and diplomacy. Must be poised and articulate in dealing with faculty, students and staff, and have the ability to exercise a high level of discretion when working with information of a confidential and/or sensitive nature. Ability to take initiative, prioritize and work effectively under pressure to meet the deadlines and demands of a very busy office. Ability to remain calm under pressure. Demonstrated success with managing simultaneous projects. Ability to accurately interpret, and make decisions within established UBC and SPPGA guidelines and regulations. Ability to coordinate financial matters by gathering, organising and summarizing financial information. Effective oral and written communication, interpersonal and organizational skills. Proficiency in English grammar, spelling and punctuation. Must be able to demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity and deal with a diversity of people in a calm, courteous, and professional manner. Ability to handle a wide variety of tasks and establish priorities, organizing workload for timely and effective delivery of services while maintaining a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. Ability to exercise judgement under pressure and demonstrate initiative, problem solving, and resourcefulness in handling matters of a complex and non-routine nature. Collaborative approach to work; enjoys being part of a team environment. Ability to work flexible hours and overtime.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.