NPSIA Summer Work Profile – Matthew Lapointe, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Trade Agreements and Negotiations Directorate

This post is part of a profile series on NPSIAns and their summer work experiences. If you have any questions for the student profiled, please refer to their contact information at the bottom of this post.

Name: Matthew Lapointe

Workplace: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Trade Agreements and Negotiations Directorate

Position title: Trade Policy Analyst

NPSIA cluster: International Economic Policy

Position obtained through the Carleton co-op process?: Yes

Undergrad school(s): Queen’s University

Undergrad major(s): History


What is your commute to work like?

I live in Orleans and I give myself on average an hour to get to work. I have a car so I drive in. In the winter it took me 50 minutes on a good day. The bus trip is minimum an hour and you need to transfer to the 118.

How would you describe the dress code at your work?

Shirt and tie, a suit on some days.

Are there many other NPSIAns at your workplace?

People in my group come from a variety of schools and programs. It’s really a great mix. Past few co-op students have been from NPSIA.

What are the lunch options like nearby your work?

There are a lot of options across the street. Not too much in the building.

How many jobs did you apply to this summer?

I was selective in choosing only 5 positions to apply for that dealt with Trade Policy.

What is your favourite part about your job?

The fast paced nature of Trade Policy.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Prioritization of different files.

What is an average day like for you?

I have a short list of daily jobs but once that’s finished I will work on urgent priorities or some of my long term projects. Trade Policy ebbs and flows depending on the flavour of the day.

Is your workplace fully bilingual, or does it favour English over French (or vice versa)?

Much of the work is in English. French is used in conversation and in meetings.

What are some exciting things happening in your workplace right now?

The TransPacific Partnership is a very hot file right now along with CETA implementation.

Which NPSIA course best-prepared you for your position?

INAF 5101: Politics and Institutions of International Trade taught by Michael Hart

INAF 5500: Comparative Trade Policy taught by Phil Rourke and Don Stephenson .

What sort of work experience did you have before this position?

8 months of casual/FSWEP government experience.

What are your hours like?

9-5, but you can choose your own hours.

What is some advice you’d give to a student hoping to get hired/intern at your workplace?

Microsoft Excel is your best friend. On a daily basis, it’s not uncommon to be working spreadsheets, pivot tables, graphs, and the vlookup function.


Have any questions for Matthew? 

You can send him an email at


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