Five Questions with a NPSIA Alumnus: Brian Kingston

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Brian Kingston is an Associate with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives where he is responsible for providing advice and analysis on international trade, fiscal and monetary policy issues.  Prior to working for the CCCE, Brian worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade where he focused on international trade negotiations. Brian has comprehensive experience across the federal government as a participant in the Accelerated Economist Training Program, a leadership development program that includes placements at the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Privy Council Office.

In addition to his experience in business and government, Brian has extensive experience in the non-profit sector as the Vice President, Global Operations, at Young Canadians in Finance and as a Research Analyst with InterSector Project. In 2013, Brian was selected by Action Canada for a Fellowship and was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. Brian graduated from NPSIA in 2009.   

1. What activities (classes, clubs, jobs, etc.) did you partake in during your graduate studies?

I was in the trade cluster so the majority of my classes were trade and economics related.  Outside of class, I was involved with the NPSIA Soiree as Treasurer and participated in the CTPL Trade Negotiation Simulation. I took advantage of the internship program and interned at DFAIT in the Office of the Chief Economist. The internship led to two co-op terms at DFAIT in the Trade Negotiations Branch.

2. What is something you wish you knew while at NPSIA?

It is extremely important to take advantage of the connections that NPSIA provides.  There are many NPSIA grads working in Ottawa who are happy to meet with students to discuss their careers and provide job-hunting advice.  Take the initiative and reach out to people, you never know what opportunities those connections will create. 

3. Can you share a memorable professor or moment from your time at NPSIA?

I enjoyed all of my classes with Professor Hart.  I will never forget a simulation in his class where I had to argue against the EU’s ban on seal products.  I never thought I would learn so much about the seal hunt!  I also enjoyed my classes with Colin Robertson and Derek Burney.  Both professors have had impressive public service careers and I enjoyed hearing their stories about negotiating the Canada-US FTA and NAFTA.

4. What is a skill you are currently working to improve? Or goal you are trying to achieve?

I am currently trying to learn French. Despite passing the NPSIA French test I have a long way to go!

5. Do you have any advice for NPSIA graduates entering the job market?

Think about job opportunities outside of the federal government.  There are many careers in the private sector that people tend to overlook when studying at NPSIA.  While you are in Ottawa, take advantage of all of the various organizations that hold networking and speaking events.  Groups such as the Ottawa Economics Association and the Economic Club of Canada offer students discounted rates.

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One thought on “Five Questions with a NPSIA Alumnus: Brian Kingston

  1. Thanks for the useful tips and advice you’ve given. It’s always great to hear from people who have the kind of experience and insight you have.

    If you need some help with your French by the way, I’d love to help!

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