Author Melanie PisanoSince my graduation from The American University of Rome in 2013, I interned for twelve months at the World Food Programme with the Online Fundraising Team in the Private Partnerships Division. I also just recently graduated from St. John’s University, Rome Campus with a Master’s degree in Government and Politics (Law and Diplomacy).

With my Communication background, studying for a Masters in Government and Politics was a very different experience. I think having a combination of two very different degrees is a great way to leverage and apply this knowledge to a UN career. Right now, I am working at FAO in the Forestry Department and am currently preparing for the World Forestry Congress in September. I am still living in Rome but I traveled to New York City three times in the past five months and was able to spend some time in LA for New Years 2015. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to spend money on experiences instead of material things, so I’m trying to travel more this year.

For my thesis at AUR, I had written a 500-something page novel, which I spent my senior year editing with my advisor, Professor Lisa Colletta. Since graduating from AUR, I have written a second novel, a sequel to my thesis, and just found a publishing house based in California this past December. I’m currently editing and reworking both the novels and preparing to write a third, which will be the last in this trilogy. The process has been a bit slow but I’m hoping to have everything finalized by mid-summer so the books can be available before the fall.

I really wouldn’t be where I am today in the publishing process without the trust, support and guidance of Professor Lisa Colletta. I still remember walking into our first senior thesis meeting and showing her the printed rough draft of my first book – her face went white. For Lisa Colletta, agreeing to edit this novel for my senior thesis meant a lot of extra work on her end, but she still said yes and I’m incredibly grateful to have had that opportunity. Working on my senior thesis with her was the best memory I have from my time at AUR.

Now, I’m looking forward to this new post-graduate-school chapter in my life.