Guelph Grads on the Go – Changing His Major Changed His Life

Trade Canada job demands a global perspective


Daniel Warelis

For Daniel Warelis, BA ’09, changing his major changed his life. The former English major switched to international development and participated in U of G’s semester abroad program in Guatemala. “That totally changed my course in life,” he says. The experience inspired him to pursue a career in international affairs.

While in Guatemala, he studied the sustainability of a local fish farming project, which provided him with “hands-on experience doing real economic analysis,” he says.

Now a junior trade officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Canada, Warelis provides research analysis for trade officers involved in negotiations with Europe, Mercosur and other trade partners. “I analyze the different free trade agreements that other countries have signed before, whether it’s multilaterally or bilaterally, and look for certain trends that may affect the negotiations that we would have with them.”

If Canada doesn’t already have a trade agreement with a particular country, Warelis looks at trade agreements the country has signed with partners that it shares with Canada. To promote Canadian trade interests during negotiations, he examines which technical barriers to trade could have the biggest impact on Canadian businesses if the agreement were to be signed. To sell products in Europe, for example, he would analyze what Canadian businesses need to do to meet the European Union’s certification standards.

Warelis is completing a master’s degree in public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa; during one of his co-op terms he worked at the Canadian embassy in Argentina. Having lived in Buenos Aires for several months, he describes the capital as a “world-class city with developing world problems. It’s a beautiful, European-structured city with French and Italian architecture and influences from all over the world. But at the same time, Argentina has certainly struggled in its past.”

When he finishes his master’s degree, Warelis plans to spend five weeks travelling through Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. He hopes to continue to work in the same field when he returns. “My ultimate goal would be to work for an organization where I continue to brief, whether it’s business interests or political interests, on various political and economic developments.”