Aidan Oliver-Burgess is a Master of International Affairs student and Winner of Carleton’s 2023 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year Award. Oliver-Burgess completed two co-op work terms as a Student Analyst with the International Security and Political Affairs Branch at Global Affairs Canada (GAC). She was nominated by Andrea Westcott-Lacoursiere, her Deputy Director.

Aidan Oliver-Burgess, Winner of Carleton University’s 2023 Graduate Co-op Student of the Year Award.

The Threat Assessment division is responsible for identifying and assessing threats to Canada’s diplomatic missions abroad. Oliver-Burgess supported the team by researching and analyzing issues to produce strategic and operational threat assessment products in collaboration with domestic and international partners. She worked closely with diplomatic staff posted overseas and was uniquely exposed to both the work of the Canadian security community and the work of Canadian missions throughout the region. Throughout Oliver-Burgess’s work terms, she displayed exceptional dedication and commitment to the safety and security of Canadian staff, citizens, and permanent residents abroad.

Says Westcott-Lacoursiere, “Whatever our team threw at her, Aidan rose to the occasion, while at the same time, always ensuring to seek guidance and clarification whenever necessary. This included serving as the lead and/or supporting analyst for over 20 missions in the region. As new colleagues joined the team, she also supported the onboarding and training of new team members.”

Oliver-Burgess’s ability to analyze complex geo-political issues and trends was complemented by excellent interpersonal skills that enabled her to establish and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues in the Canadian security community, as well as with regional security managers and mission security officers abroad.

In addition to working and juggling academic requirements for her master’s program, Oliver-Burgess also voluntarily took on additional work, including 24/7 emergency response shifts to respond to urgent inquiries from Canadian citizens and permanent residents in distress. Westcott-Lacoursiere noted that this work is extremely difficult and emotionally draining, however, Oliver-Burgess continued to aptly manage her priorities within tight deadlines. She also joined extracurricular activities at GAC, including taking on a role within the executive committee of the Young Professionals Network, which works to ensure that the perspectives of young professionals and new employees are included in decision-making at the most senior levels.

“I am happy to report that as a result of her incredible work and performance, we have offered Aidan another contract and are looking to having her bridged into the division upon graduation.”

Thursday, March 14, 2024 in ,
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