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Sebastien Dolan

Regulatory Affairs Manager,
LEX, Canada

People And Stories
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Sebastien Dolan

“I spent two consecutive summers with BAT’s Summer Student programme, before being accepted into the Management Trainee Programme in the Corporate and Regulatory Affairs (CORA) team - which has now become Legal & External Affairs (LEX) - where I had always set my sights. Initially, I didn’t know what to expect being an intern for the tobacco industry, nor did I think that a summer internship in the industry would evolve into an aspiration for a career with BAT. But the more time I spent at BAT, the more my thinking evolved.

“I realised that I was being offered a great opportunity. I was impressed with the company and how passionate the people were, plus the potential for an international career was very exciting to me. Also, any questions on perception I may have had were soon extinguished as I realised that if I could succeed in an environment as highly scrutinised as this one, then I could succeed anywhere.

“Working for the industry definitely comes with its fair share of challenges. In the five years I’ve been here, we have never shied away from adversity, and always find solutions to ensure we continue to be competitive in the legal market, and remain the number one legal tobacco manufacturer in Canada. That says a lot about the vision of my colleagues and their passion to keep our company at number one. Honestly, I don’t think you could work here without this passion. It’s always 100mph here – there are no troughs or down-time. That’s why this place attracts like-minded individuals: people who love to work hard, love the challenges of the industry, and love the relationships they create with the colleagues they work with.

“In LEX, we ensure that our company has a voice that contributes to the public and regulatory discussions pertaining to tobacco products. As special interest groups push their agendas, we balance the dialogue to inform the public and help to implement a regulatory environment that achieves government objectives.

“I did my degree in Political Science, and I love to debate difficult issues. While people are quick to form opinions on the industry I take pride in demystifying our business and shedding light on the realities and challenges of working for a highly regulated legal tobacco company.

“Taking the ‘path less travelled’ in life certainly appeals to me on occasion. For instance, when I had the opportunity to go to a top school in my home town, I did a volte-face at the last minute and went to a university I had never visited and barely heard of, 13 hours from home. Joining BAT was similar in a way: I wanted to do something different from everyone else, and go somewhere where I could take on a new challenge and test my limits.”