Neliza Noble Macapayag

Nationality: Philippines
Program: One-year MAPP
Graduated: 2015
Current job: Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate of the Philippines, Philippines
Location: Pasay City, Philippines

Beyond Work

+1. Which Hungarian words do you still remember?

Igen, Nem, Szia, egeszsegedre

+2. What is your favorite city in the world?

Budapest!

+3. What was your dream job when you were ten years old?

I wanted to be a doctor. Unfortunately, I go weak-kneed at the sight of blood.

+4. What helps you wake up on Monday mornings?

Coffee, at least two cups of coffee before I start my day.

1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?

Why public policy? My previous work as a Supervising Legislative Staff Officer in the Senate of the Philippines involved a lot of public policy issues. Although I have a Juris Doctor degree, I felt like it was not enough to address the policy issues I am confronted with. By some divine intervention, I found out about CEU's public policy program at the European Higher Education Fair in Manila in 2013.

2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?

I remember how helpful and insightful classroom discussions on policy issues were. It was such a revelation to address a common policy issue from different cultural perspectives.

3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?

I served as a Consultant to the Chairman of the Commission on Elections for three months before I was asked to manage and head the senatorial campaign of my current principal, newly elected Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?

My work as the Chief of Staff of the Senator involves a lot of decision-making on policy issues. I help the Senator craft and update his policy directions as a Member of Congress. I brief the Senator on the prevalent and existing policy and law gaps, and introduce options, solutions and effective strategies to address them, most of which I have learned from my studies at the CEU.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would still be serving as the Chief of Staff of Senator Zubiri as his term ends in 2022.

6. Do you have any advice for current students?

Make the most out of your studies at the CEU. Take advantage of the expertise of your professors; do not be afraid to ask questions. Whenever I can, I try to bring up policy issues in the Philippines in class. You will be amazed at the insights given by not only your professors but your classmates as well.

7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

Ride their public transport! They have an amazing transportation system lacking in my country.

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