Name:Marc-Andre Belair
Profession:Program Consultant, Government
Location:Ottawa, ON
Education:B.Soc.Sci. Political Science, University of Ottawa
 OSSD, Gloucester High School

What I do at work:

I manage two national HIV/AIDS committees. The first is the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on AIDS. The second is the National Aboriginal Council on HIV/AIDS. In managing both committees, I liaise with members of the committees, manage the committees work plans and strategic plans, and organize and participate in meetings and teleconferences for both committees. In addition to that, I participate in a number of activities in the Division for which I work.

How I got my job:

Networking. I started doing part-time work for the federal government when I was 16 and in high school. Over the years, I got to know a lot of people, and learned how the federal government works. While I was working full time to complete my degree, I accepted a position doing some HR assistant-type work. By learning on the job, and completing my degree, I was able to apply and compete for jobs in my field.

My first job:

My first job was as a telemarketer for frozen beef products. I lasted 3 days, when I realized that it definitely wasn't what I wanted to be doing.

Best advice I ever got:

Someone once told me that things always look better in the morning light, and worse in the dark of night. The other advice that always sticks in my head to this day is "Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way." I think there is so much truth to either of those things. For me, sometimes sleeping through a problem can really help my brain sort through and deal with the problems. Of course, diplomacy and tact are two of the most useful skills you can cultivate in your life, and will be useful no matter where you go.