The Schull Yang International Experience Award, supported by Joseph Schull (BA ‘82, MA ’85) and Anna Yang (BCL, LLB ’88), helps undergraduate and graduate students gain first hand international experience related to their fields of study. The award provides full or partial funding to assist students with tuition, travel, and other expenses related to their international experience. The Schull Yang International Experience Award is part of the McGill International Experience Awards. For more information, click here.
The Internship Offices Network is pleased to announce the selected McGill students for the 2017 summer internship at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and recipient of the Schull Yang International Experience Award, Connor Macorin.
Connor Macorin, BCL/LLB
Connor is a first-year law student at McGill. Prior to undertaking his law degree he studied political science at Queen’s University, where he led a variety of student-run initiatives, including the construction of a fully autonomous solar home. He also assisted in research surrounding cross-border terrorist financing, and spent a summer interning with the Parole Board of Canada. When he is not frantically reading case law, he enjoys playing volleyball, exploring Montreal's culinary scene, improving his chess skills, and dreaming about where he'll travel next. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to work within the Executive Directorate of the OECD this summer.
I am a second-year law student at McGill, and I had the great privilege of interning within the Executive Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France this summer.
Before beginning my legal education at McGill, I earned a bachelor’s degree in political studies from Queen’s University. I participated in a variety of extracurricular activities during my time at Queen’s, including research investigating cross-border terrorist financing, and an internship within the Parole Board of Canada
While I appreciated my work experience within academia, student-led organisations, and the federal government, I always yearned to work for an international organisation. My formal education highlighted the important role international organisations play in our globalized world. As the lines between the domestic and international continue to dissipate, collective action at the international level is often required to address problems at home. The OECD provides a forum for its member countries to discuss the common problems they face, and to take remedial action in a concerted fashion. Meanwhile, the OECD’s brigade of economists and policy analysts equip the world with a better understanding of our current economic, political, and social climate, and disseminate policies designed to raise standards of living globally.
I had the privilege of supporting the OECD’s important mandate as an intern within the Organisation’s Executive Directorate, and within the Human Resources Head Office specifically. By virtue of its position as an international organisation, the OECD enjoys privileges and immunities from domestic law. Meanwhile, the internal operation of the Organisation, including the rules governing their recruitment, dismissal, staff discipline, and the benefits they are entitled to, are governed by the Staff Regulations and Financial Regulations, which are internal legally binding texts. A host of legal issues arise as a result, which usually involved delineating the scope of these privileges and immunities, and attempts by national governments to circumscribe them. Similarly, the drafting, revision, and interpretation of the Staff Regulations and Financial Regulations provides a constant stream of work for the Organisation’s legal team.
Throughout my internship, I often reviewed the Staff Regulations. In particular, I was tasked with checking for discrepancies in legal meaning between the French and English drafts of revisions to the text in conjunction with the Organisation’s legal team. I also assisted in rendering the text gender neutral, and identified inconsistent applications of the gender neutrality protocol, while ensuring that the application of the gender neutrality protocol would not alter the meaning of any provision. Evidently, my bilingual education at McGill proved crucial in this role, and my colleagues appreciated my ability to tackle legal tasks in both of the Organisation’s official languages.
Furthermore, I drafted guidelines to be sent to OECD staff members explaining important elements of the Organisation’s Staff Regulations in layman’s terms, which are drafted in highly legalistic and cumbersome language. Finally, when not occupied with other tasks, I assisted the Human Resources department with other tasks on an ad hoc basis.
Given that I had little prior experience in any of these areas, I was often mildly confused when beginning a task, and would have to figure things out on my own. My supervisor, while incredibly supportive, simply did not have time to see me more than once per week. Working independently allowed me to improve my problem-solving skills, and I have grown confident in my ability to rapidly become familiar with new areas of the law.
My experience at the OECD was wonderful. On a professional level, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to gain exposure to international administrative law, and to the legal profession in general. I have little doubt that the experience I have gained will prove invaluable, wherever my career will take me.
I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to work in a truly international environment. I met bright, talented, driven, and insightful people from across the OECD’s thirty-five member countries. As I sat down for lunch with other interns, it was rare that any two of us hailed from the same country. The cross-cultural interaction I experienced was truly precious, and something I will miss dearly.
I would like to sincerely thank Ms. Yang and Mr. Schull for their generous donation. Frankly, these past few months have been some of the best in my life, and I would never have been able to accept this opportunity without their support. Once again, thank you.
Nicolas Glaudemans, BCL/LLB
Nicolas will be entering his third year in McGill Law. Previously he completed an honours degree in economics with a minor in finance at McGill. He will be interning at the Office of Legal Council for the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency in Paris, France during the summer of 2017. His main objective in applying for this internship is to apply his legal skillset to a field of energy law.
Reach Nicolas nicolas.glaudemans [at] mail.mcgill.ca (here).
Prior to joining the Office of Legal Council (OLC) for the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Association, I worked as an audit associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Montreal, Canada, and as a management trainee at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. A local Montrealer, I am currently pursuing a combined programme in civil law and common law (B.C.L./LL.B) at McGill University, where I also received my bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours in economics and accounting. In addition to my academic studies, I volunteer at a non-profit legal clinic, serve as an associate editor of the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law and work as a consultant for Junior Enterprise Desautels.
Living and working abroad has already created a life-changing impact for me both personally and professionally. During my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate enough to work in Hong Kong as a management trainee through the Arts Internship Office and generous funding from Joseph Schull and Anna Yang. I was hoping to experience another life-changing experience as well as further refine my legal and policy skillsets.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with thirty-five member countries dedicated to promoting “better policies for better lives” by serving as a global platform to compare policy experiences, to solve common problems, to identify best practices, and to coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.
More specifically, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), an agency within the OECD, strives to “assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low-carbon economies."
As a trainee with the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for the NEA, I was responsible for assisting in the preparation of publications, such as the Nuclear Law Bulletin and the country reports on nuclear legislation and institutional frameworks. I focused primarily on third party nuclear liability and nuclear safety education.
I had three main objectives in pursuing this internship. Firstly, I wanted to work in an international organization that is having a positive material impact on the lives of millions. Secondly, I wanted to further refine my research skills in an international context and to apply my legal skillset to a field of energy law. Thirdly, I wanted to learn as much as possible by networking with individuals from several different OECD departments like the Centre for Tax Policy and the Environment Directorate.
Overall, it was challenging working in international nuclear energy law at first. I did not have a prior background in either public international law or in nuclear energy beforehand. Fortunately, my boss was very organized and had prepared several binders of material that compiled the essential information into an easily accessible location. Fortunately, McGill law was a phenomenal preparation for this internship. The bilingualism and transsystemia embedded within McGill law’s curriculum structure was critical for my success with the OECD. During my internship, I would say 30-40% of my work was in French and the rest in English. I worked on updating country reports on nuclear legislation and institutional frameworks for countries in Europe, Asia, and North America, therefore my understanding of civil law and common law was helpful. More specifically, my Advanced Civil Law Obligations class with Professor Steer was critical because her comparative law focus helped me compare and contrast different countries’ approaches to dealing with nuclear third party liability. It also helped me become more comfortable with working different civil codes, which was helpful when examining the natures of tort and insurance law for those jurisdictions.
I did not receive academic credit for the internship. However, I am still glad that I pursued this internship because I think it will positively shape my future career. I definitely want to start my career in the private sector but I would like to contribute significantly to the public sector later on in my career. My internship with the OECD has helped me better understand policy analysis and how to form “better policies for better lives”. It has also challenged me to think on a deeper level about trans-boundary effects that result from a given policy or law.
In terms of highlights, I appreciated the opportunity to meet and befriend many of the OECD’s talented and kind employees who come from all over the world. I also enjoyed my brief discussion with Nobel Prize winner Edmund Phelps about the possibility of promoting trade school in the developed world to reduce the amount of unemployment due to the outsourcing and automation of manufacturing.
I am forever grateful to have received the McGill Undergraduate Internship Fund. The funding was able to provide for my housing in Paris, which was quite expensive. Without this funding, I would not have been able to afford pursuing my internship at the OECD.