Daniel Rodriguez, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of International Business from the Sprott School of Business, is one of only 20 young Canadians selected to take part in the 2009 Junior Team Canada Trade Mission to Central America this month.
More than 800 people competed for a spot on the prestigious Junior Team Canada Trade Mission this year.
It provides real-world experience by taking youth on economic and development missions into foreign markets. It also strives to foster leadership among Canada’s youth.
During the mission, Rodriguez will travel to Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador. He leaves Canada on August 13. He will meet with trade officials and industry leaders and develop contacts for Canada’s information and communications technology sectors.
“I am super excited about this opportunity,” says Rodriguez, 22. “I have never been to Central America before so I am eager to do that. I am also eager to put my Spanish to use.”
As part of his studies last year, he worked at the Canadian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and he became fluent in Spanish.
These days, Rodriguez works as a program officer for the Canada Border Services Agency, in Central and South America relations.
“My long-term objective is to work for the Foreign Service as a trade commissioner, so this mission is exactly the kind of work I see myself doing in the future.”
Junior Team Canada is co-ordinated by Global Vision, a national, non-profit organization. The program, organized in partnership with Foreign Affairs Canada, provides Canadians aged 16 to 25 with the skills, experience and knowledge necessary to become the next generation of Canadian business leaders.
Rodriguez is required to raise a minimum of $5,000 in sponsorship from Canadian companies to help fund his trip to Central America. In return, sponsors will receive a charitable tax receipt.
Rodriguez is a great candidate for Junior Team Canada, says Jerry Tomberlin, dean of the Sprott School of Business.
“Daniel has been a strong student. He is very personable, well-informed and he speaks the language (Spanish) very well,” says Tomberlin. “For all these reasons, he will make a very good ambassador for Carleton and for Canada.”