EMPA Graduation 2015

Anikka Weerasinghe

Executive MPA Class of 2016

Head of News at the UK Cabinet Office

Anikka Weerasinghe


Anikka Weerasinghe

EMPA alumna

Before joining the EMPA I was…

Working in a rewarding public sector communications role. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to change career paths, but did feel that I wanted additional development to build my confidence as a senior manager and to help me achieve my long-term career goals. As I was open to the idea of moving sectors, I felt that the combination of public administration and public policy curricula would allow me the flexibility to explore new options, while the peer and professional network would open new doors.

Why did you choose to join the LSE’s EMPA programme?

As an LSE alumna, I was already familiar with their pedagogy and knew that the university’s blend of practical and theoretical teaching supported my learning style. I also valued the international focus of their faculty, events programme, and student profile. After researching other MPA and MPP programmes, I felt that LSE’s unique executive offering would allow me the flexibility to work while studying, and importantly would encourage me to draw from my professional experiences in lectures and assignments. This approach gave my employer the confidence needed to support me through the programme, while giving me the benefit of building on my existing knowledge and skills.

How has the LSE EMPA programme influenced your career?

The EMPA provided me with new tools to critically analyse and assess major policy problems. It deepened my understanding of global complexities and trends. The programme also refined my approach to problem-solving at work, helped me to reframe my career objectives, and encouraged me to better articulate what I want for my future. This was supported by the professional career coaching service offered. The programme opened my eyes to new opportunities, and as a result I was able to secure interviews and a new placement within weeks of graduation.

What was your favourite thing about your time on the EMPA programme at the LSE?

The network of professors, professionals, and friends has undoubtedly been the best aspect of studying the EMPA at LSE. Having the ability to engage and discuss the major issues of the day with peers from across the globe, both during class and afterwards, has been very rewarding.