Contracts manager

Travis McDonald works to connect the world of academia with government and business.

Travis McDonald

Key facts

Career: Contracts manager at Auckland UniServices Limited
Programme: Master of Public Policy
Subjects: Public Policy

“I started the taught Master of Public Policy programme part-time while working full-time in the public sector, as a way to build my expertise and get closer to my ideal of working towards the public good to the best of my abilities.

“The MPP programme exceeded my expectations in terms of how well it connects theory with practice. The lecturers who deliver the programme are connected and engaged with the wider world, and they bring that quality into the classroom through interesting guest speakers who work in the realm of public policy and related fields.

“I was able to take the lessons and skills from courses and directly apply them in to the work that I was doing at the time.

“Halfway through the programme I secured an engaging and rewarding role at Auckland Council as an advisor to one of our city’s elected councillors, who are key decision-makers for policy right across the Auckland region.

“There aren’t many roles that offer exposure to such a wide range of public policy issues at a relatively early career level, and my study up to that point played a crucial part in getting the role.

“It was great to have the flexibility to study towards the MPP at my own pace – I did the first half in one year, and the second half across two years due to my increased work commitments at Council.

“Shortly after completing my MPP, I took up a new opportunity to work as a Contracts Manager at Auckland UniServices Limited, the commercial research and knowledge transfer arm of the University of Auckland.

“A core element of the role is to connect the world of academia with government and business – something I’m passionate about and that the MPP programme has helped me to do already.”