The Canadian Embassy to Argentina and Paraguay, located in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Asuncion, Paraguay, falls under the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. The Embassy's mission statement is to manage Canada's diplomatic and consular relations with Argentina and Paraguay, and to encourage the country's international trade with these two countries of accredition.
Ginny is going into her fourth and final year at McGill. She is currently a double major in economics and international development studies and a minor concentration in marketing. Last summer, she interned in the Communications and Knowledge Unit at the United Nations World Food Programme in Panama. She hopes to further develop her interest in Latin America and international development by interning this summer as a Public Affairs Junior Analyst at the Embassy of Canada for Argentina and Paraguay in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She hopes to pursue a career in public affairs or trade development in the future.
Reach Ginny ginny.tan [at] mail.mcgill.ca (here).
I am currently a fourth year student at McGill pursuing a double major in Economics and International Development with a minor concentration in Marketing. This summer, I interned at the Embassy of Canada for Argentina and Paraguay in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I chose to do this internship because I have always been interested in the Foreign Service and wanted to experience it first hand before I chose to pursue a career in diplomacy. My learning objectives included understanding the workings of the embassy, learning about the public affairs department, and improving my digital marketing skills.
As the Embassy of Canada for Argentina and Paraguay, my host organization was in charge of providing consular services to Canadian citizens and advancing Canada’s foreign policy interests. As the Public Affairs intern, I was tasked with the responsibility of marketing the embassy through online communications. During my three months at the embassy, I worked on weekly social media posts, aiding the drafting of briefing and meetings notes for the Ambassador, advancing the embassy’s education portfolio, and the elaboration of a digital marketing performance report. In addition to those responsibilities, I also worked on the invitations and graphics used for the Canada Day celebration at the embassy.
The main challenge that I encountered during my internship was balancing my communication with both of my supervisors. As the Public Affairs intern, I worked under the head of Political Affairs and Public Affairs. Having previously only worked under one supervisor, I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to report to. During the first couple of weeks of my internship, I would be assigned with different tasks by the different supervisors. Due to the fact that I wasn’t always sure who I was supposed to be communicating with, some days I would be overwhelmed with tasks and other days I wouldn’t have any work to do. Eventually, this issue was addressed when I met up with both of my supervisors and we agreed upon a much better communication system.
Another aspect of the internship that I found quite challenging was working in a cross-cultural environment. As someone who grew up and previously worked in South America, I thought that I was pretty well acquainted with the South American work culture and I have worked previously in cross-cultural environments. However, working in Argentina was completely different. Argentinians communicated differently and had a different work dynamic as well. Furthermore, the embassy staff were all trilingual! I speak English and Spanish fluently; however, my French is definitely at beginner’s level. During staff meetings, everyone will be switching back and forth in the three languages. At the beginning of my internship, I was struggling to keep up whenever they spoke French. However, after working there for three months, I can proudly now say that my listening and reading skills in French have improved substantially. Working in this multicultural and multilingual environment was definitely an incredible learning opportunity.
I will be receiving academic credit for this internship and I will be working with Professor Matthieu Chemin. The topic of my research is: “Why is Argentina poorer than Canada?” According to economic development theories, Argentina should have developed in a manner similar to Canada. However, Argentina’s current economic environment is quite different from Canada’s. This research project aims to investigate the reasons behind this path divergence tracing it back through the course of history.
This internship has definitely shaped my future career and education path. I think that through this internship, I have discovered that I should be exploring a variety of career paths rather than restricting myself to a particular sector. I also really enjoyed working in Buenos Aires. Before this internship, I never considered the possibility of working in Argentina. However, I really enjoyed my time in Argentina and it has now become of the countries that I would to work in, in the future.
I received funding through the McGill International Experience Award. This award made my trip possible, it paid for my flight and my accommodations. I would like to express my gratitude towards Mr. Schull and Mrs. Yang for their generous donation.
Sara is completing an honour's undergraduate degree in International Development Studies and Women's Studies. In the past, Sara has worked closely with the International Relations Student Association of McGill as Director of ECOSOC Outreach and with McGill's Institute for Health and Social Policy as the Outreach and Communications intern. Last year, Sara spent a semester abroad in Argentina interning at two non-profit organizations centered on HIV/AIDS issues, women's rights and gender violence. It is throughout her time in South America that Sara became passionate about her intersection between women's health issues and policy-making, as well as with Latin American affairs. As an ION intern this summer, Sara will be returning to Buenos Aires as a Junior Analyst for the Embassy of Canada to Argentina.
Reach Sara sara.gold [at] mail.mcgill.ca (here).
My name is Sara Gold and I am in my last semester at McGill University. I am majoring in Honor’s International Development Studies, with a minor in Women’s Studies. From an early age, I have been passionate about travel and social justice issues. Since starting at McGill, I have had a growing interest for the correlation between health, women’s rights, law, international relations and development.
When I started university, I knew that I wanted to spend one semester abroad. In 2014, I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for five months interning at two non-profit organizations. It was through that experience that led me to become fascinated with everything Argentina, consolidating an interest in the country’s politics on both international and domestic levels thereby pushing me to apply for a position at the Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay this summer. Upon receiving the internship opportunity, my learning objectives were varied; however some included practicing my Spanish, gaining professional governmental experience and learning about the role of Canada in missions abroad.
The Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay is Canada’s representation abroad and is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). The Embassy’s mission statement is to manage Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations with Argentina and Paraguay and to encourage the country’s international trade with the two countries of accreditation.
At the Embasy, I worked for the Public Affairs section, under the FPDS (Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Services) branch. My tasks were quite varied, some highlights included assisting in the logistics for events, which included breakfast with one of Argentina’s leading organizations for women’s rights, a meeting and videoconference with an organization that fights human trafficking in Argentina and a leading senior policy adviser at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, a meeting with the Association for Canadian Studies in Argentina, the visit of Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre to the embassy, several trade events, meetings with HEC on culture and communication and a visit accompanying the Ambassador to the Argentine Olympic Committee headquarters for a special event on Women and Sports, to name a few. Furthermore, I directly organized and assisted in preparing materials, presentations, videos, photos and communications for two presentations on educational opportunities to study abroad in Canada, presented at a renowned university as well as in the Chamber of Deputies for the Argentine Congress and I also had a direct role in assisting in the organization of a reception held at the embassy in light of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games. I was also very involved in all social media for the embassy, by creating and posting content for the Spanish, English and French-language Facebook pages.
At work, and as discussed with my supervisors, challenges have been mostly working in all three languages at once, which was sometimes confusing and exhausting. The only way to overcome this challenge was to continue practicing speaking all three and I can definitely conclude that my Spanish greatly improved (and my French too!). A secondary challenge was prioritizing tasks, with the great number of tasks we were assigned, but I found excellent ways to deal with these demands by always asking my supervisors what was deemed most important to get done.
My interests and academic background fall directly in line with this internship. The professional experience I have gained by working at the Embassy allowed me to truly put my knowledge into action and to find out whether working for the government would be a good fit for me. My experience definitely interested me in the work of DFATD and I look forward to perhaps working for them in the future.
After this internship, I will be receiving academic credit. This semester, I will be working with Dr. Philip Oxhorn, examining the human trafficking situation in Argentina, which I learnt about first-hand, as the Embassy provided me with contacts whom work directly within that field within the country.
Taking the summer to work at the Embassy has helped me confirm my career plans for the future. I broke out of my comfort zone and learned, shared, travelled and experienced. This internship allowed me an insider look to the work of the Government of Canada, which once again confirmed my interest in law, especially in regards to gender issues, both domestically and internationally.
Finally, I would like to take this chance to thank Mr. Joseph Schull and Ms. Anna Yang for providing me with the International Experience Award. Without your help, I would not have been able to afford this experience, so thank you for providing me with an opportunity of a lifetime!
Lina is a U3 student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies with a minor concentration in Management. This summer, Lina will be interning at the Canadian Embassy to Argentina in Buenos Aires. Lina will be working in the commercial sector of the Embassy as Junior Commercial Analyst Intern.
Reach Lina lina.alvarezjaramillo [at] mail.mcgill.ca (here).
To read about where Lina's experience led her after graduation, click here.
I am in my fourth year of studies at McGill University where I am majoring in Latin American Studies with a minor in Management. Throughout my years at McGill I have learned valuable skills that will benefit me in my future career, but my internship experience at the Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay has been the most beneficial opportunity I have had to this day, thanks to McGill University and the Internship Offices Network.
I pursued this internship because it was the perfect opportunity to gain experience in international business in my region of expertise while working for the Canadian government in what I hope will signify the start of a career working with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development. In my position as Junior Commercial Analyst in the Trade section of the embassy I worked closely with the Canadian Trade Commissioners conducting market research, assisting with client requests, promoting education in Canada abroad, and also attending meetings held at the embassy by the Canadian-Argentine Chamber of Commerce. These tasks allowed me to gain knowledge on various industries from fisheries to mining, and gain valuable skills in event planning, writing reports and public speaking.
The role of the Canadian government offices abroad is to provide a variety of services to Canadians; within the embassy, I worked with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, a service that helps Canadian companies succeed in foreign markets by promoting the economic interests of Canada in the global marketplace. I worked closely with four Trade Commissioners who were each in charge of a specific industry through which I was able to learn about a wide variety of topics and learn various work ethics and business approaches depending on the industry.
One of the highlights of my internship experience was when I was given the opportunity to give a presentation at the Universidad National de la Plata about the study opportunities available to foreign students in Canada and about my own experience as a university student. It was an honor when a letter of appreciation was sent from the university to the Ambassador knowing that I had exceeded what was expected of me and that I had successfully represented Canada and all that it has to offer. From that presentation there were various students that followed up with scholarship applications and even a few success stories of those that received funding and were given the opportunity to study in Canada.
The biggest challenge that I faced during my internship was familiarizing myself with all the programs, language, and protocols that the Canadian government has put in place at government offices. While these programs and terms are valuable tools in ensuring that information is properly stored and is consistent across government departments and missions throughout the world, the learning curve for using them was quite large and it took me at least one month to be fully familiarized with them. However, after learning how to use these programs I became much more productive in my work and realized that I had gained valuable knowledge that would be extremely helpful in any future jobs with the government of Canada.
As part of my internship experience I will be writing a research paper with Professor Manuel Balán. In my paper I will focus on the Corporate Social Responsibility efforts that Canadian companies have been making abroad and the laws and regulations that the government has put in place to ensure that these responsibilities are fulfilled.
After completing my internship I gained a much more clear understanding of my future career goals which are to work for the government of Canada at missions aboard. I enjoyed learning about the experiences that my coworkers have had in their assignments and listening to their advice. I feel that the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will provide me with a variety of opportunities where I will be able to have a challenging and varied career.
I would like to thank Mr. Joseph Schull and Ms. Anna Yang for granting me the International Experience Award. With these funds I was able to support myself during my internship and also travel throughout South America where I learned a great deal about myself and also the region that I am most interested in.