Policy Assistant W/L

on August 7, 2018
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As part of the Graduate Student Society you will play an important part in advocating for the graduate student community on important topics like supervision, housing and harassment. The GSS represents the 10,000 UBC graduate students. Our staff and executives get graduate students talking about important issues and inspire them to enjoy an active and balanced campus life.

The Society advocates for the rights of graduate students and provides opportunities for their professional development. This role will allow you to experience each of these distinct aspects of our work.

The Policy Assistant works under the supervision of the Communications and Marketing Director in the development of the GSS’s policies on important topics and to develop links between the GSS and policy makers on campus and outside.


  • The student will receive an Orientation to the work of the GSS from the Office Manager covering areas like the structure of the team, function of the society as well as practical areas like health and safety.
  • The Communications and Marketing Director will provide an orientation to the communications activities of the Society, and the design brand guidelines we work to.
  • Ongoing training and supervision is provided by the Communications and Marketing Director



  • Experience working in a communications environment, meeting those involved in making student policies on campus and gathering knowledge from professional staff.
  • Working with graduate student executives. An opportunity to understand more about their work and how student run societies operate
  • Interacting with external partners for the GSS, for example CASA, student societies at other institutions.
  • General career mentorship from the Communication and Marketing Director in areas such as: interacting successfully with staff and faculty, developing a portfolio, and advice about future job applications.





  • The student will work in the same office as the Communications and Marketing Director and communication, questions, ideas and suggestions are encouraged. They are an essential part of a good communications team.
  • Weekly opportunities to meet briefly one on one with supervisor to discuss performance.
  • At the end of the period and possibly after the completion of individual projects there will be a general debrief about the role. This is an opportunity discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of successes.



For students interested in working in public policy or educational administration, working on developing policies to support graduate students at UBC is invaluable. This work provides hands on experience that relates directly to real world jobs in the policy or education fields.

By the end of the work term, the Policy Assistant will have gained:

  • Experience of working in a professional office environment, serving the needs of graduate students
  • Hands on experience of working on developing policies for graduate students
  • Experience of policy research.
  • Deeper understanding of higher education policy and policy making
  • Enhanced communication skills. By being a member of a team, workers will enhance their listening skills and ability to communicate ideas clearly.
  • Increased confidence in leadership skills by taking the initiative on developing policy ideas
  • Effective time management skills by managing deadlines and learning how to prioritize urgent items.
  • The opportunity to develop items for a portfolio, that can support coursework.
  • Students will learn to problem solve proactively to meet deadlines and support campaigns.
  • The ability to connect with graduate students and to understand how to communicate with a specific audience




  • Assist the development of new policy ideas that benefit graduate students
  • Research student societies in the US and Canada to identify policy issues and best practice and how this can be applied to the GSS
  • Gather information and help prepare materials for GSS Council and Committees. Assist VP external with policy research for meetings and in preparing convincing speeches and policy papers
  • Provide support to the student executives, including helping prepare briefing materials, motions and speaking notes.
  • Help identify internal and external contacts, who may be able to assist with GSS with developing policy priorities
  • Assist with managing GSS records and data
  • Other duties as required





  • A UBC graduate student preferred with a passion to advocate for the benefit of graduate students
  • Excellent team player and self-motivated learner
  • Strong time management and project coordination skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent Attention to detail
  • Must have experience working with Excel, Word and the rest of the Office package
  • Experience of analytical report writing
  • Knowledge of higher education policy / public policy



Hours of Work

  • 10 hours per week


  • $15.07 per hour
  • Paid semi-monthly

How to Apply

  • Email: jobs@gss.ubc.ca
  • Subject line should read: Policy Assistant – your full name
  • Application deadline: 5pm, 19th August 2018
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Policy Assistant W/L