University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

Lily Choi

Class of 2012 – HBA, innis, USP

Innis College student Lily Choi shares her experiences as an exceptionally active and engaged Innis College student.

Originally from Calgary, I came to University of Toronto in 2008 to specialize in Political Science. Before I go on, I’d like to take a moment to declare that the staff at Innis College are the kindest, most helpful people on campus. Looking back upon my undergraduate studies, I could not be happier with my choice to attend Innis, as the staff have been so consistently good to me since day one, helping me to navigate the murky waters of obtaining a degree at an enormous university institution. Go Innis!

With the finish line of my undergrad marathon in sight, I am currently in the process of applying to law schools in order to eventually become involved in foreign policymaking in one way or the other. Additionally, as a former English as a Second Language student, I am considering taking some time to teach English abroad. Passing on the torch in ESL learning is important to me, and to this end I have been involved with ESL instruction since high school, starting with an instructor’s position at Kumon as well as assisting my dad, who is also an English teacher abroad. Currently, I work with international students at the English Language Program of the School of Continuing Studies at UofT.

The extracurricular endeavours I took part in throughout my undergrad studies, combined with my work experience, have been fundamental in my career path. For five years, I have been heavily involved in the organization of the student-run University of Toronto Model United Nations Conference, most notably as Secretary-General in the 2011-2012 academic year. While in office, I coordinated all logistical, academic, administrative, and financial branches of our annual, large-scale three-day conference for nearly 400 high-school students and 80 staff members at the University of Toronto. Throughout my tenure in the executive membership, I was responsible for planning and editing the academic content for the conference, coordinating notable keynote speakers, and have directed, compiled research for, and moderated debates for simulated UN committees. In my second year, UTMUN established the annual social awareness initiative, raising funds and awareness at each conference for causes such as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and the Daily Bread Food Bank. For all these reasons, my involvement with UTMUN has been one of my greatest ongoing achievements, as it has not only allowed me to become aware of my passion for foreign policy analysis and diplomacy, but has also encouraged Canadian youth to become informed on global affairs and to exercise their skills in diplomatic negotiation. For this accomplishment, my organization and I have been commended and honoured with a personal letter from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Contributing as a policy analyst for the G8 Research Group at U of T in my fourth year, I was able to build upon my previous knowledge of policymaking through a hard law approach to evaluate countries’ decisions in the international political economy through a soft law forum. It was of huge value to witness an alternative, pliant process of policymaking to the rigid, more bureaucratic methods employed at the UN.

When I’m not dedicating my time to practice-diplomacy, I daydream about an epic career in real-life diplomacy in the Canadian foreign service, or more generally in consulting on foreign policymaking through intergovernmental organizations. The goal is to employ my strengths in communication, finding common ground between parties, and reconciling varying sociopolitical precepts to ensure lasting peace for Canada in our foreign relations in the future. I could get more specific, but really, I just want to make the world a more peaceful place to live in.

But first, I need to graduate – this June, it’s finally happening.


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