Amélie Millette-Gagnon (Social Science, psychology profile, 2010) is a lawyer who works in the cabinet of Quebec’s Justice Ministry.

In her role as political advisor and deputy chief of staff, Millette-Gagnon has worked on bills headed for the national assembly and provided the minister with political advice and recommendations on a variety of dossiers.

“A minister has to make so many decisions every single day,” she said. “You make recommendations and he will make decisions with your help.”

As a child, Millette-Gagnon said that she would often change her mind about what she wanted to be when she grew up.

“Any career you can think of, I wanted to do it at once point,” she joked. Law was always in the back of her mind, but by the time she started Cegep, she was interested in psychology.

Millette-Gagnon, originally from Ste-Hyacinthe, Que., chose Champlain as a way to practice her English language skills and get closer to the “big city.”

She said the transition to an English school required a lot of extra effort and in her first semester, Millette-Gagnon spent many hours using the college’s free tutoring services.

“The first papers I received — they were full of red. With hard work I improved pretty quickly and was pretty proud of myself after the first semester.”

Spending time with her teammates on the Cavaliers rugby team also helped.

“I’d say being part of a sports team was probably the best decision I made during my years at Champlain,” she said. “You feel like you belong, like you’re part of something. It helped me make so many friends.”

After Cegep, Millette-Gagnon went to Université de Sherbrooke where she completed a certificate in communications.

Still feeling unsure about her career goals, she followed her early inclination and enrolled in law school at UdeS. After completing her degree and passing the bar, Millette-Gagnon began working in family law.

“It was very emotional and very tough – it was almost like working as a psychologist,” she said. She was planning to become a litigation lawyer and was learning from every occasion she got to present in court.

In 2017, she moved from the practice where she worked in Ste-Hyacinthe to a firm in Montreal at the invitation of one of her former teachers who remembered her passion and dedication. In 2020, Millette-Gagnon got a call from a former classmate who was looking to fill a position within Cabinet of the Minister of Justice.

“I was not unhappy with my previous job but the opportunity to do something bigger that directly impacts the society you live in felt like it was the right thing to do,” she said.

She couldn’t pass up the “rare opportunity” and began working as a political advisor. In June or 2023, Millette-Gagnon became the deputy chief of staff.

Millette-Gagnon’s advice for current students and recent grads: “Never be afraid to ask for help. I work in profession where you’re expected to show how good you are, but everybody needs help at times. I’ve had tutors all my life. I’ve had career counsellors and friends and classmates who helped me, Every time I reached out, I was never turned down, everyone was always happy to help.”