“I entered college undecided, overwhelmed, and unsure, as I struggled to navigate through the course guide. 

I am part of the Residential College, so I spent my first two semesters focusing heavily on gaining fluency in German. While studying German, I became increasingly interested in not only Germany but in learning more about happenings across the globe. After meeting with a PICS advisor, I was thrilled to declare my International Studies major with a sub-plan in Political Economy and Development (PED). A large part of what drew me in was the flexibility and expansive breadth of courses offered through the Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS). Throughout my four years, I have been able to take courses in Political Science, Education, History, Environmental Studies, Economics, and more.

Last semester I took an INTLSTD 401 course through the School of Education with Professor Michelle Bellino titled: Education, Peace, and Conflict. In this course, we studied the intersection of education in areas of conflict and reconstruction. As someone who is greatly interested in education, and particularly education equity, this course proved to be extremely informative and broadened my perspective on the challenges faced within schools globally. Professor Bellino was an excellent instructor, who brought us together as a cohesive group over Zoom and allowed us to explore our thoughts and ideas while aiding us in developing our writing and critical thinking.

After graduation, I hope to have the opportunity to combine my passions of education, international affairs, and entrepreneurship. Whether that be in public service/governmental career or eventually leading a startup focusing on advancing educational equity and accessibility, I am excited to see where the future will take me.”

Jillian Drzinski

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Entrepreneurship ‘21

Hometown: Grosse Ile, MI

Affiliations: Phi Sigma Pi - National Honor Fraternity, Center for Educational Outreach, U-M Residential College

Future plans: “After graduation, I plan to focus on innovation and equity in education. I am unsure yet of exactly what this will look like, but I hope to combine my passion in innovation and entrepreneurship with my passion of education, policy, and government.”

Fondest memory of her PICS Experience: “I have taken so many incredible PICS courses with wonderful professors that have defined my college experience, it is difficult to choose just one! To fulfill my PICS major, I was able to take courses through the School of Education, Ross School of Business, the Residential College, and many different LSA departments - I loved the breadth and variety of courses I was able to explore!”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “I am so thankful for all of the support I received from my family, friends, professors, colleagues, and everyone that I met along the way. I couldn't have done this without such a great support system. So much love to all - you all mean so much to me (this of course includes Maizey & Milo - my kitties!).”