Over 110 municipalities and planning service agencies across Alberta have participated as hosts in the Municipal Internship Program. By partnering with neighbouring municipalities or hosting an intern on their own, various types and sizes of organizations have been able to provide our interns with the diverse experiences that are reflective of our province.
See below to learn what host organizations have to say about their experiences hosting a Municipal Intern.
Hosting a municipal intern is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. It brings renewed enthusiasm to the work place through the involvement of a young person anxious to learn and to please. Our employees found the experience to be a moral builder and learned that we came closer together on an interdepartmental basis as we all worked cooperatively to provide a positive learning environment and experience for our intern. We were pleased to learn from the intern as well, as she brought new insight into our organization as to how to better some aspects or our work and challenged us to look at how we can better our operations as opposed to carrying on the same old and often routine patterns and work aspects. It is refreshing to be fostering an individual for a career in municipal government with the potential for succession.
We are constantly impressed by the benefits of hosting an intern. The education, skills and creativity they bring to the table has been an asset time and time again.
Our advice to a municipality who is applying to host an intern is have a Workplan and schedule in place prior to the selection process so you have a clear idea about the role your intern will play. This will greatly assist you throughout the interviewing process, and will prepare your staff for the role they will play in the program.
Parkland County’s experience with the Municipal Internship program has been excellent. We have had the opportunity to work with extremely capable individuals who add great value and depth to our organization.
Our biggest surprise was the knowledge and eagerness interns bring to the table.
Having someone be part of the organization who has never thought of working in local government brings interesting observations which help to contribute to making the organization better.
Make sure you speak with all the Department Heads so they understand the program objectives and the role of the intern. They are not here to make photocopies and do filing. They come with education, and an eagerness to learn as much as they can in one year.
Hosts need to be prepared with a proper work plan that can be shared with the intern at their arrival. The work plan will keep both the host and intern focused on desired projects or deliverables. It is also easier to make adjustments and/or substitutions to projects when there is an unforeseen interruption.
While we knew our intern was a new university graduate, her overall level of knowledge, her professionalism, her preparedness to step into whatever activities we would schedule for her, the level of the dedication and appreciation of all things (big and small experiences), and her drive to succeed, her sense of humor, undoubtedly energized all of us, including our councillors.