APSIA Welcomes 91 Public and International Service Advisors

APSIA Welcomes 91 Public and International Service Advisors

From March 12-14, 2024, APSIA welcomed 91 advisors from 58 institutions in 26 states to the 2024 Public & International Service Advisor (PISA) Spring Training Workshops. 

Recordings of the week’s sessions can be found on APSIA’s YouTube page


Tuesday, March 12 kicked the week off with a look at the many career opportunities within international affairs. Martha Bohrt, NASPAA’s Chief Accreditation Officer (UTexas at Austin LBJ Alumna), hosted a conversation between Lia Miller, Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State (Syracuse Maxwell Alumna), Sarah Novack, Strategic Partnership Officer at the Center for Victims of Torture (UMN HHH Alumna), and Matt Warshaw, Chief Operating Officer at D3 Systems (Georgetown SFS Alumnus). Speakers described their non-linear career paths - such as transitioning from business and social work into international affairs. Nevertheless, all agreed that students needed to develop certain “power skills'' (soft skills) to be successful in their fields – written and oral communication, data proficiency, and adaptability. 

Wednesday, March 13’s conversation between Michelle Casanova, Graduate Student at IE University School of Politics, Economics, and Global Affairs, and Krista McSwain, Graduate Student at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, focused on navigating graduate school possibilities. Moderated by Briana Suarez, APSIA’s International Admissions & Operations Manager (GWU ESIA Alumna), both speakers provided insight into how one deliberates whether graduate school is in their future, what program is the right fit, and when to pursue the degree. While these APSIA students had considered law as a profession, they learned through professional experience and informational interviews that there were ways to serve the public good beyond being a lawyer. Moreover, Casanova and McSwain were interested in developing an interdisciplinary, global point of view (including economics, business, political science, etc.) and strengthening competencies (writing, data, etc.) that aligned more closely to that of a policy-practitioner.

Later on Wednesday, Tracy Pintchman, Professor and Director of Global and International Studies Program at Loyola University of Chicago (PISA), Tripp Pomeroy, CEO of Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater Organic Coffee (AU SIS Alumnus), and Anuj Sahay, International Investment Manager with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (UMich Ford Alumnus), shared their insights on how students can gain international affairs experience in their communities. Moderated by Carmen Iezzi Mezzera, APSIA Executive Director (AU SIS Alumna), the panelists emphasized that international opportunities exist all around. In fact, many policy practitioners have refined their global customer service, concise communication, and relationship-building skills through the local hospitality and landscaping industries, student journalism, campus fundraising offices, and more. When applying to a job, students should focus on how their skills are translatable to the position. Students should also tell a story that links what they have done to the employer’s mission, no matter where the activities took place; Plus, the story they tell should be authentic and not what the applicant thinks the employer wants to hear.

APSIA concluded the week on Thursday with a look at what APSIA is and how the PISA Network assists advisors. APSIA’s Executive Director Carmen Iezzi Mezzera (AU SIS Alumna) and International Admissions and Operations Manager Briana Suarez (GWU ESIA Alumna) shared APSIA’s events, resources, and many ways they help advisors bring public and international service-related content to their campuses. 

To learn more about the PISA network, please click here.

Attendees came from the following institutions

  • Baltimore City Community College
  • Brandeis University
  • Brigham Young University
  • California State University-Bakersfield
  • California State University-Dominguez Hills
  • California State University-Los Angeles
  • California State University-Northridge
  • California State University-Sacramento
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Catholic University of America
  • Davidson College
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Frederick Community College
  • Frostburg State University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgia College
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Lindenwood University
  • McDaniel College
  • North Park University
  • Northeastern University
  • Notre Dame College
  • Ohio Dominican University
  • Randolph-Macon College
  • Roger Williams University
  • Salisbury University
  • Salt Lake Community College
  • San Francisco State University
  • Santa Fe Community College
  • Skidmore College
  • Stonehill College
  • SUNY Stony Book
  • University of California-Davis
  • University of California-Riverside
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Denver
  • University of Maryland-College Park
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Richmond
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Utah Valley University
  • Valencia College
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wayne State University
  • Wesleyan University
  • Willamette University
  • Winthrop University

The 2024 Public & International Service Advisor (PISA) Spring Training Workshops are made possible by the generous support of the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM).