About Me

Hello! My name is Yany Siek and I am a graduate from the University of Alberta where I completed a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in Political Science. I am currently working in Ottawa, Ontario for the Government of Canada at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Additionally, I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs where I am concentrating in Security and Defence Policy. I have a passion for Canadian politics and International Affairs, particularly in International Security and China-US relations. I hope to one day work as a Foreign Service Officer or desk officer for Global Affairs Canada. My undergraduate thesis analyzed how U.S. security policies with Southeast Asian states influences Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea territorial disputes. I am currently researching Canada-China relations in the context of engagement and security issues. In my spare time I enjoy working out, playing basketball, reading and writing. I am interested in mentoring a student who is interested in pursuing graduate studies and I would be willing to share my experience of going through the application process. Specifically, I can provide helpful advice to students considering applying to graduate degree programs in Political Science or any arts field. If you are a student considering applying to Master’s programs in the Arts, I can mentor you on the application process. More generally, I can provide insightful mentorship to students seeking to apply for major scholarships and awards. I am also available to provide advice on Public Service recruitment and interview processes.


What are some of your accomplishments?

Some of my academic accomplishments include various scholarships and awards. Outside of academics, I also consider personal happiness and health to be an accomplishment. I try my best to maintain an optimistic outlook on life and to maintain a positive mindset.In December of 2016, I will travel to Japan, courtesy of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for nine days to participate in the Kakehashi Project. The theme of this year's exchange will be on nuclear non-proliferation and will involve attending a United Nations conference in Nagasaki, visiting high-tech and educational institutions, and meeting government leaders.

Describe one transformative experience that you have had.

Moving to Ottawa, Ontario for graduate school has been a very transformative experience. Besides the fact that I no longer have my parents to clean up after my mess (haha!) and sisters to buy me food, it has been both rewarding and frightening to live on my own. At the same time that I wish I could return to Edmonton to the comfort of my family and friends, I know that moving to Ottawa to study at NPSIA will be worth it.

Who inspires you? What advice or insight did he or she provide you with?

My inspiration comes from two important leaders of both the 20th and 21st century. Ban Ki-Moon, the current United Nations Secretary General is a humble, intelligent and well-respected leader. He studied International Relations at Seoul National University and entered South Korea's diplomatic division. Ban Ki-Moon's educational pursuit aligns with my own, and I gain inspiration from the path that he took. Lee Kuan Yew, the late Prime Minister of Singapore worked extremely hard throughout his life to transform Singapore from a third-world nation to a first-world country. He embodied the principles of hard work, self-sacrifice and perseverance. In my daily life, I attempt to adhere to these principles as well.

What are somethings you would really like to share with others?

There are three things I would like to share with highschool and prospective university students. Firstly, it is important to pursue a degree you feel passionate about. Passion will be the driving force throughout your academic career and serves as a means to push through difficult moments that you will undoubtedly experience. Secondly, it is important that you seek out a mentor. The mentor could be a leader from the National Student Network but it could also be a family friend, boss or colleague. In your first year, I recommend that you seek out a professor whose interests align with your own. Most Professors are willing to serve as mentors and can guide you throughout your degree. Thirdly, it is important to take advantage of opportunities. I encourage all students to apply for scholarships, seek out relationships and take advantage of opportunities to engage in research.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about research and Political Science. Currently, I am in a course-based program that has allowed me to develop transferable skills and I have been given the opportunity to apply them. I have combined my interest in research with Political Science to bring together the two main elements of my degree. Within the field of Political Science, I am passionate about International Relations. The two primary topics I am focusing on are International Relations in the Asia-Pacific as well International Security. If you have similar passions or would like more information on how to go about discovering your own, I would love to have a discussion with you.

Published Articles on NSN


Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University)

September 2016 Master of Arts in International Affairs (Security and Defence Policy)

In the Fall of 2016, I began a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in Security and Defence Policy. Generally, my interests are in Canadian and American foreign and defence policy vis-Ă -vis Asia-Pacific countries. In particular, I am interested in how Canada can engage with China on political, economic, and security issues.

University of Alberta

April 2016 Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Political Science

I recently completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Political Science. My focus was on International Security (Terrorism and non-state actors) and China-US relations. My honors thesis analyzed how U.S. security arrangements with Southeast Asian states (particularly Vietnam and the Philippines) influences Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea territorial disputes.

University of Alberta

July 2015 Alastair R and Irma MacLeod Scholarship in Political Science

To be awarded annually to students with superior academic achievement entering the third or fourth year of studies in Political Science. Recipients will be chosen on the basis of academic standing and a demonstrated interest in socialist thought. Preference will be given to students in financial need.

M.E. Lazerte High School

September 2009/June 2012 International Baccalaureate Diploma

Graduated with an International Baccalaureate Diploma.


Miller Crossing Care Centre

June 2012 to Present Dietary Aid

-Administered up to date diets of over 100 residents in a fast-paced environment
-Coordinated resident’s diets and nutrition with the dietician, chef and health care aides to ensure effective communication and facilitation of resident needs
-Collaborated with Occupational Therapists, Rehab Attendants and Registered Nurses to ensure seniors were well nourished, active and healthy
-Maintained strong communication and rapport with staff, residents, and their families

University of Alberta

October 2014 Scotiabank Bursary

Recipient of one of four Scotiabank bursaries offered through the University of Alberta

University of Alberta

October 2014 Political Science Recruiter

-Assisted in the recruitment of potential Political Science students

Government of Alberta

2012-2014 Jason Lang Scholarship

Received the Jason Lang Scholarship for the academic years of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014

University of Alberta

2012 University of Alberta Academic Excellence Scholarship

-Received a generous entrance scholarship from University of Alberta

University of Alberta

2012 Faculty of Arts Academic Excellence Scholarship

-Received a generous entrance scholarship into the Bachelor of Arts program

Government of Alberta

2012 Alexander Rutherford Scholarship

-Received an Alexander Rutherford Scholarship for academic work completed in Grade 10, Grade 11, and Grade 12.

City of Edmonton

2009-2012 Gold Service Award

-Received a Gold Service award for 200+ hours of volunteering.

John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights

February 2016 to Present Canadian History Researcher

I am currently working with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights to research Canadian Western settlement history for the This is Our Canada Project.


April 2016 Essay and Writing Specialist

I work for a company as an Essay and Writing Specialist.