Alumni Profile: Brian Malczyk

Brian Malczyk

 

Brian graduated from the Peace, Conflict and Justice program in 2016. He describes how PCJ prepared him for many different paths following graduation. As a result, he took a year off of school to return to music—one of his passions from his time at St. Michael’s Choir School—during which he taught piano and sang in choirs and at local parishes. He since longed to return to study in a program akin to the interdisciplinary nature of PCJ but with more quantitative approaches, leading him to currently pursue a Master’s of Global Affairs (MGA) at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Brian is currently the executive director of the Center for Development and Strategy (CDS), a charity and think tank based in New York. He is also the co-founder and vice-chair of Esonance, a federally-incorporated consulting company in Toronto. They are currently piloting a program to help people in various stages of their careers and lives more generally to address challenges faced by young professionals. Generally, he hopes to continue roles in global strategy and pursue work similar to what he currently does with his colleagues at the Rotman School of Management and Munk.

 

How would you say the program has helped you since graduation?

PCJ has helped me to think critically and analytically and become a good problem solver. It has also instilled an understanding of a variety of topics in a short amount of time. More personally, it has taught me the values of being challenged and pursuing opportunities I wouldn’t have considered within my grasp initially, as well as the importance of being curious. Moreover, creating a network of people I met through PCJ as well as the professors who have always been there to support me has been a significant benefit. The program has also taught me to be a leader in an interdisciplinary setting, which has helped in my role at CDS and my current studies at Munk.

 

A key aspect of the program is providing opportunities for international experiences and entrepreneurship. Could you speak briefly about your experiences with one or both of these and their significance?

Through the program, I was able to participate in the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Fellowship, which was very informative and helpful in many ways. Getting the opportunity to tour DC and form academic relationships while tackling policy issues is a unique experience you can only gain through such international experiences. If I were to go back, I’d even try to go on an exchange as well. The importance of such programs continues to be stressed now in the MGA program through which I was was granted an opportunity to work with the UN in Geneva.

Entrepreneurially, PCJ gave me the confidence to begin a federally recognized non-profit with other professionals. It has helped with my work with CDS and Esonance, giving me the skills and academic rigour I needed to succeed in this regard.

 

Would you care to offer any advice to current or prospective students?

Challenge yourself academically and otherwise. Prioritize your interests and finding experiences over marks. If you can, take advantage of international experiences, which are personally and academically important for growth. PCJ is a great program and it provides you with the comprehensivity in various areas from security to civil societies to global markets, which has prepared me well for the MGA program and my professional trajectory.


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