Sam Nadeau

National Cyber Security Branch, Public Safety Canada
NATO Field School 2021

I participated in the 2021 NATO Field School program as a fourth-year undergrad. While, unfortunately, COVID-19 prevent the in-person travel component, my experience in the field school was nevertheless the highlight of my undergraduate career. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a career in security and defence or learn about international relations and diplomacy more generally. The virtual delivery was able to offer a fantastic collection of guest speakers - from senior officials to young professionals whose lectures, guidance, and Q&As offered uniquely valuable opportunity to explore the "real-world" of foreign policy.

What I expected going in to the NATO Field School was an intensive crash-course on international affairs and NATO. What I left with was a wealth of applied knowledge and context, but also the practical skills, experience, and network needed to work in the field. More importantly, I left with a much better understanding of the opportunities and career paths available to those interested in taking the first step into the otherwise opaque field of security, defence, or international diplomacy. As a result, I decided to pursue an MA in IR and apply for Co-op, where I was well equipped to land a Junior Policy Analyst position with Public Safety Canada's National Cyber Security Branch. In this position I have been able to regularly apply the context and skills I acquired through the field school.