Being a McGill graduate and intern at the US Consulate, Jessica Drozd certainly deserves the title of Girl Boss. Read on to know more about her involvement at McGill, and her work in bringing the US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman to SSMU on April 13.
Kapinga Kalombo for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Jessica, Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Jessica Drozd (JD): I am originally from Mississauga, Ontario. I started as an Arts and Science student in political science and psychology because I liked the science aspect of psychology. I am no longer at McGill, and I am currently an intern at the US Consulate. But I have to say that I had a great time at McGill.
HC McGill: How would you describe your McGill experience?
JD: In my first year I did not do much, just focusing on classes. But I met people from the Bachelor of Arts and Science Integrative Council (BASIC), and they were interested in my knowledge in student politics and suggested that I should [get] more involved on campus and I did. I applied for a position on BASIC for 1st year liaison, and I fell in love and met lot of people since it can be difficult to meet other Arts-Sci students. Then I ran an election for the rest of my McGill career at BASIC [serving] as internal in event planning then I was external on the council where I got to do a lot of constitutional work. Through my years at McGill, I made lot of amazing friends, and the best part of my experience was the extracurricular activities I was involved in.
HC McGill: Could you tell us about your internship position at the US consulate?
JD: I am currently a poll political economic affairs intern at the US Consulate General Montreal. I applied last semester and after a long process and interviews, I got the position. My position entails reporting on Quebec’s economics and political affairs. I analyze the data and report on that. I also do a lot of event logistics, for instance this upcoming event bringing the Ambassador to McGill, which I took part in putting together. With this internship, you can choose what aspect you want to focus on, which is another thing I like about it. But a lot of what I do I cannot really talk about, except to say it is a lot of writing and politics, which taught me a lot about how the different bureaucracies work. Plus, I get to meet tons of amazing people that are actually happy to give advices and help whenever it is needed.
HC McGill: You mentioned your participation in organizing the event that will bring the US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman to McGill. What was it like to put such an event together?
JD: First, I have to say how excited I am for this event because I have always wanted to do something McGill-related during my internship. Actually, a McGill student earlier this year met the ambassador and got the idea to ask him to come to McGill and the ambassador accepted. Since she needed the help of the consulate to put it all together, especially because of the bureaucratic aspect [that comes] with events involving political figures, another intern, who is also a McGill student, and I were designated to work on it. We also had a SSMU contact though my boyfriend, Omar, who is in charge of the events-planning side of SSMU, and it was key since we needed a venue and funding as well. We have been working on it since February and along with the ambassador, we have chosen panelists with the help of other students associations on campus. Everyone in the team has been a great help and, a huge shout-out to SSMU for helping us so much through this process.
HC McGill: What is the goal behind this event? And what should we expect?
JD: We are trying to [give the students a chance] to interact with the ambassador, which means [that] the ambassador will also ask the students questions about foreign politics, so it is going be a conversation between the students and the ambassador. There is also the fact that government officials do not talk much to students, and it is amazing that the ambassador is willing to come to McGill to listen to their opinions and not just to lecture in some sense. So I would say that the goal is just to show that students can also interact with government officials.
HC McGill: What are your plans for the future?
JD: When it comes to my immediate next step I have not figured it all out yet, but I know that I want to work in Canadian diplomacy, foreign affairs, and potentially legislative government as well. I love my psychology degree but I am mostly planning to stay in politics. I also want to tell to any Arts-Sci student who are often super lost in their degree and do not really know how to mesh the two together, it is definitely possible to find a middle ground between the two programs. In my case, I am only working in the Arts part of my degree but my psychology skills are definitely a valuable asset.
Check out the Facebook event for any updates!
Images provided by interviewee.