Home>Alexa, 2023, Summa Cum Laude in International Development


Alexa, 2023, Summa Cum Laude in International Development

Coming from Canada, Alexa has graduated Summa Cum Laude in International Development.

What skills/strategy helped you to succeed at PSIA?

While selecting my courses and concentrations before my first year, I struggled to choose between courses whose subjects I found fascinating and those which I thought would be most 'valuable' for my CV and professional career. In the end, going with courses and professors which inspired me and not worrying about 'transferable skills' was the best decision I made. We are always most successful in classes which interest us!

What part of your PSIA experience do you think will be of greatest help in your career?

I'll give one popular and one unpopular response: the network and the group work. First, since embarking on my post-graduation job search, I have come to realize that PSIA grads have a presence in almost all of the top organizations in our field - both in France and internationally. Because today's recruitment processes are so heavily influenced by networking, this is a huge advantage. I have generally found PSIA grads to be extremely open and willing to help, and I feel lucky to have this international network for the rest of my career. Second, while I may have complained about the massive amount of group work required at PSIA, looking back I can genuinely say that it helped me build the interpersonal skills needed to work well on a professional team. This is not a competency that comes naturally to everyone, and having three semesters of 'practice' was highly valuable. 

What advice would you give to current and future PSIA students?

Don't forget to take advantage of the incredible city that is Paris! While it is important to keep up with your work, school isn't everything, and if you deny yourself the chance to discover all this city has to offer, you may regret it later on. Benefit from student deals on museum tickets, check out live concerts and DJ sets, visit Fontainebleau or Versailles, and give yourself a break from studying. Similarly, the more French you speak, the easier it will be to discover French culture and form real relationships with French people, so try to prioritize that if you can (in addition to PSIA language courses, the City of Paris offers semestered French courses at a very reasonable price).

Virtual Graduate Open House day, October 2024

Graduate Open House Day

On 19 October 2024: meet faculty members, students and representatives and learn more about our 30 Master's programmes.