Career Conversations Webinar: Leslie-Ann Boisselle, Public Affairs Officer, High Commission of Canada, Trinidad and Tobago
During this online webinar, recorded on May 18, 2012, Leslie-Ann Boisselle shared her personal story of coming to Canada as an International student from Trinidad and Tobago, graduating, then returning home only to find herself working for the High Commission of Canada. She answered questions about her job, shared tips for living and working internationally and provided insight into the types of opportunities available within her field.
About Leslie-Ann Boisselle
Public Affairs Officer, High Commission of Canada, Trinidad and Tobago
Alumna: BA Spanish & French, York University, 1991
Languages have always been my passion. So it is no wonder that I ended up tri-lingual: English, Spanish and French. In fact, it is because of this that I hold the job which I have currently. It allows me the opportunity to utilize my French as an employee of the Canadian Government. But living in a country so close to Central and South America, and in a country which is in the process of implementing Spanish as a second language, I am truly in my element. In addition to that, this job also allows me to interact with many different persons, ideal for a people-person like me.
Times below indicate the point at which questions were asked. Skip through the recording using the player controls at the bottom of the screen if you would like to jump to a particular question.
3:46: Could you tell us about your role and key responsibilities as Public Affairs Officer for the High Commission of Canada to Trinidad & Tobago? Could you also clarify what the primary mandate of the High Commission of Canada to Trinidad & Tobago is?
6:55: Could you share with us your career story, and walk us through how you went from studying at York to landing this role with the High Commission?
10:47: Would you recommend that students pursue further education after completing their undergraduate studies, particularly if they are interested in a career in the Canadian foreign service or more specifically, at the High Commission of Canada?
12:54: Could you describe what a typical day on the job is like for you?
18:25: Can you elaborate on your specific role in all of the events and activities that take place at the High Commission?
20:18: What kinds of opportunities are available to students and new graduates at the High Commission?
22:14: Can you give us an idea of the types of jobs or functions available to students and new graduates either through the internship programs or through the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade?
23:30: Is it possible for you to tell us a little about the interview process for a position with the High Commission?
28:10: You spoke earlier about internship opportunities available. Could you speak about the “career track” opportunities within the High Commission?
30:53: Can you tell a little about the involvement of DFAIT staff in Ottawa versus the staff in the High Commissioner’s office in trade agreement negotiations between Canada and Trinidad/the Caricom region?
34:53: Are internship opportunities within the High Commission paid?
35:51: What would the application process be for individuals who are not Canadian citizens but are interested in working within the Canadian foreign service?
37:21: In addition to what you do, are there other opportunities within the High Commission that either capitalize on or require language skills in multiple languages?
38:55: Do you need to have at least French to be employed by the High Commission?
39:30: What do you find to be the most demanding or challenging part of your work?
42:19: What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
44:14: Is it possible to get a job within the High Commission without additional or specialized knowledge or training in a particular area? Can you tell us more about what the minimum requirements are these days to get into the High Commission?
47:00: What advice would you give to students or new graduates about how to make the transition from being in Canada to Trinidad, and also how to make the transition from university life to work life within the High Commission?
52:28: How competitive is it to get into the High Commission either in Trinidad or elsewhere?
52:44: Do you know what the average entry salary is for someone just starting out in the foreign service?
54:18: Could you say more about the diplomatic work of the High Commission, and some of the issues that are being dealt with?
57:17: What can students and new graduates do now to make themselves more marketable, more competitive as individuals interested in pursuing careers within the High Commission?