By Cait Stadler, MPIA ’14

On Saturday, February 9, the Bush School Public Service Organization (PSO) was delighted to host approximately 40 Texas A&M University undergraduate students for the annual Public Service Forum. The purpose of the forum is not to recruit students for the Bush School, but to answer questions and provide information about a future career in public service – a noble calling. The attending students are mainly potential future public servants, but a few were merely admirers of one or more of our seminar leaders. Can you blame them? For those interested in pursuing a career in public service, what better a way to prepare them for the future than to interact with some of the Bush School’s finest professors?

The students were served breakfast before breaking into their seminar groups led by Professor Olson, Ambassador Napper, Holly Kasperbauer, and Dr. Brown. The seminars were entitled The CIA and the War on Terror, Argo II: Simulating Crisis in a U.S. Embassy, Finding the Leader in YOU, and Nonprofit Organizations Creating Social Value, respectively. While visiting each of the rooms, the students were engaged and full of questions. A few of the Bush School volunteers even posed questions during the seminars.

Following the seminars, there was an alumni panel to discuss public service experiences and to answer questions. The panelists also provided insight as to what to expect in similar careers. The alumni were all recent graduates of the Bush School and could connect with the undergraduate students as it was not long ago that they were facing the same decisions about the future.

The forum concluded with a delicious lunch during which the students discussed what they learned during the seminar and alumni panel, and asked questions of the Bush School volunteers about their career path and graduate experience.

Overall, the Public Service Forum was a success. Future public servants left inspired and ready to take the next step. Perhaps there are a few future “Bushies” among them, but without a doubt, there are a number of students ready to serve their community and country in a variety of ways.