Umang Khandelwal (BA’15 – International Relations)

Umang Khandelwal started her degree in Sciences, but found herself reading the Economist and Foreign Policy magazine when she should have been finishing her lab report. Realizing that “the work you do when you’re procrastinating is the work you should be doing for the rest of your life”, she transferred to the UBC International Relations program.

During her time at UBC, Umang served in multiple leadership positions on campus, advocating for initiatives to improve the student academic experience and actively promoting intercultural understanding in her community. Internationally, through the support of the UBC Global Lounge, Umang participated in the 2014 WTO’s Public Forum in Geneva, the Council of Europe’s World Democracy Forum in Strasbourg, and the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington D.C, where she met prominent public officials and gained an appreciation for the need to include the youth perspective in decision-making to develop effective policies. Umang has also worked as a legislative and administrative assistant to a Peer at the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, focusing on issues such as prison reform for women and increasing the participation and representation of women in politics.

“The work you do when you’re procrastinating is the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

In addition to her coursework in Vancouver, Umang spent a term abroad at Sciences Po in Paris, gaining a deeper understanding of the EU as an international political and economic actor. She currently studies law at the University of Cambridge where she is the Director of Policy of the largest student-run think tank in the UK, the Wilberforce Society, represents students as a Board Member at the Faculty of Law, and serves a member of the university’s highest policy-making body, the University Council.

Recently, Umang was one of five of Canada’s brightest young leaders selected to participate in the 2016 G20 Youth Summit in Beijing and Shanghai, where she negotiated on behalf of young Canadians and participated in producing a report for G20 leaders. In this video, Umang shares highlights of her experience in the Faculty of Arts and explains her role in the Y20 Summit. Follow Umang on Twitter at @u_khandelwal!