NPSIA Graduation Spotlight: Hanna Williams

If you could choose one word to sum up your time at NPSIA, what is it and why?

This isn’t exactly one word, but Choose Your Own Adventure was the first thing that came to mind. NPSIA offers so many different opportunities that your degree can really be whatever you want it to be. I was able to travel, present and publish my research, and gain experience in the Canadian Public Service and I have friends who did so much more! NPSIA offers so many different possibilities for what a posy-graduate degree can be.

What is your favourite NPSIA memory?

My favourite NPSIA memory was the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica to take part in the Centre for Trade Policy and Law’s one-week course in Trade Negotiation Skills. We were able to work alongside other Costa Rican students in a realistic simulation of a prospective modernization of the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (CCRFTA). Not only were we able to gain practical skills that I can apply to my professional work but I was able to travel to a beautiful country in 2020!

What was your favourite course or who was your favourite professor?

My favourite professor has been Dr. Meredith Lilly. I was fortunate enough to not only take two of her courses during my time at NPSIA but also work as one of her Research Assistants. Dr. Lilly’s passion for the material has always been infectious and ensures that all her courses not only give students skills for their degree but skills for future employment. She is also just a really fun person so I’m grateful for all the time I’ve been able to spend with her.

What was the most important lesson you learned during your time at NPSIA?

The most important lesson I learned was to ask the question ‘so what’. Even the best research and policy development is not likely to be considered by decision-makers if isn’t clear how it is relevant to their mandate or goals. This is something that has helped me already in the workplace so I’m glad so many of my professors encouraged this.

What’s next for you?

I’ve joined the Department of Finance Canada as a Junior Policy Analyst through their University Recruitment process and I’m looking forward to putting into practice all that I’ve learned at NPSIA and Carleton.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the NPSIA community?

Getting into NPSIA is arguably the hardest part. Once you’re in, take advantage of the different opportunities offered outside of classes. These are experiences employers love to hear about and will bring great memories!