Global Horizons Magdalena Surma

Talk to a Diplomat: Exclusive Interview

International Business and Economy Program Editor, Michael Oshell, Program Editor of the Canadian Armed Forces, Sandra Song, and the Program Editor of Procurement, Jonas Becker provide advice to the next round of interns. Listen as they discuss some of the most rewarding experiences that they have had at the NATO Association of Canada.

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Interview with Michael Oshell, Sandra Song, and Jonas Becker
Talk to a Diplomat


Next, Program Editor of Canada’s NATO, Ian Goertz’s discusses the benefits associated with this internship. In addition, Ian discusses the significance and impact of the a policy paper he worked on called, “Matching Reality with Necessity: A Defence Policy to 2025.” Ian worked closely  with  Michael Oshell, Aishwarya Sahai, Jonas Becker and Paul Pryce on this policy review.

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Interview with Ian Goertz
Talk to a Diplomat


Listen as the Program Editor of Expanding Community, Aishwarya Sahai discusses some of the most rewarding opportunities provided to her throughout her internship. In addition, Aishwarya discusses some of her collaborations and projects that she has worked on at the NATO Association of Canada.

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Interview with Aishwarya Sahai
Talk to a Diplomat


Next, Program Editor of Society, Culture, and International Relations, Corinne Stancescu and Media, Advertising, Marketing and Branding expert, Momin Ahmad provide advice to the next round of interns.

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Interview with Momin Ahmad and Corinne Stancescu
Talk to a Diplomat


Next, the NATO Association of Canada’s Membership and Communication Intern, Jeremy Voisin answers the following questions:

What are some of the most rewarding experiences that you have had at the NATO Association of Canada?

The most rewarding experiences at the NATO Association have been attending the conferences, meeting with the speakers and engaging with current events. The Ottawa conference in particular was an incredible experience.

As the mastermind behind membership marketing and communications, what would you like to see happen next?

As someone with a specialized background in website development for clients, I know how critical layout and design are to website traffic, SEO, click-through rates, and session times. For an organization such as the NAOC with so much content being published every week in a variety of formats, it is critical that the potential consumers of that content be able to easily discover what interests them most in as few clicks as possible. The progression of website design towards a more concise minimalist style has meant that firms have to publish only what is pertinent especially on the home page.

Currently the home page of the NAOC is set as a posts page rather than a static editable page which hinders the ability to alter the content or layout in a significant way. I would like to see the home page changed to a more modern design built with HTML 5 elements where important events would be showcased at the forefront. For instance, if there was an upcoming event within a week, I would like to see that displayed in an interactive graphical format on the main page for that week instead of a submenu on a separate events page. This would greatly increase the exposure to all visitors to the website. I think this is an important next step for the marketing and branding of the NAOC, one that I would like to be a part of.

Lastly, member benefits are one of the cornerstones of any non-profit organization. The NAOC does an incredible job with their online publications, conferences, seminars and roundtables. The writing is high quality and very topical. I think there are many like-minded individuals that the NAOC has the potential of connecting to and bringing in as members with an increased marketing effort. I would also like to see a section of products that members could buy to support the organization such as the excellent pocket squares and ties.

What is the best advice that you can provide to the new group of interns that will be starting next month?

Learn as much as you can. Your experience is what you are able to develop and take away from it. Always try to accomplish as much as possible. You are here to help the Association achieve its mission statement of helping to inform Canadians of the importance of NATO. There are a variety of ways to contribute. Don’t confine yourself solely to your job description. You can write, create events, market the NAOC, website design, etc. Contribute to the best of your own abilities according to your own strengths and skill sets.

Please discuss how the NAOC has helped shape your views of the world.

The NAOC has helped broaden my perspective of the importance of the alliance in global affairs. One of the best things about working for the NATO Association is that you are engaged in world events as they unfold. This was certainly the case in this fall of 2015 with several monumental events that occurred. One of the most relevant topics discussed at the annual conference in Ottawa is the role of NATO in the world since the collapse of the Soviet Union. After successfully achieving its original mandate to combat the threat of Soviet expansion westward, NATO has had to find a new role. The rise of non-state actors posing a threat to nation states has presented NATO members with a unique problem of defining what triggers the Article 5 provision of collective defence.

Magdalena Surma
Magdalena Surma is currently Canada's NATO Program Contributor and Outreach Coordinator. Former Program Editor of Global Horizons, Magdalena completed a BA in Legal Studies (Honours) and a Masters in Public Service at the University of Waterloo. She also attended Harvard during two summers, where she completed courses in psychology, government, and law. In addition, she successfully completed Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program in Negotiation and Leadership. Magdalena is currently completing an LLB through University of London’s International Program. She is passionate about law, government, and charitable non-profit organizations. As an avid researcher, she hopes to extend her research to investigate women in security while examining society, culture, and international relations. In addition, Magdalena is also passionate about international business and economy. She is very excited about being involved with various projects at NATO, specifically engaging youth and society about international affairs. Apart from a love of politics, Magdalena enjoys fine art, ballet, and classical music.