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City Government

Summer Student Employment Program

For more information regarding the Summer Student Employment Program, including a description as to who is eligible and how applicants are selected, please visit:  http://www.thunderbay.ca/City_Government/Employment/Summer_Student_Employment_Program.htm.

Below are testimonies provided by students who are currently involved in the Summer Student Employee Program.  Check out first hand what it's like working for the City, their favourite parts of the job, and how they believe the skills they have learned will help them in the future! 

Corey Birston

Corey Birston:
Position
: Student, Facilities Division
Schooling: 2nd Year Aerospace Manufacturing Student at Confederation College
What I do: Landscaping and yard work.
Training Received: Customer Service Workshop via Corporate Orientation, and Equipment Training
Skills Required/Past Experience: Since I work a lot in the public domain, it is necessary that I have the proper customer service skills. Additionally, safety training is extremely important and implemented daily as the students are using different types of equipment, such as weed whackers, that can be potentially dangerous. As tasks are expected to be completed by a certain time, time management and priority awareness are two skills that are necessary for a Facilities student.
Why They Like The Job/Favourite Part: My favourite part of the job is the variety – there is no set schedule and I learn something new every day.
How This Work Will Help Me In The Future: The increased in-depth safety training has benefitted me outside of work with my personal use of landscaping tools. Additionally, the customer service training was helpful, as I never really communicated with the public before with previous jobs. Since this is my second year working for The City of Thunder Bay, my resume shows I was brought back on as a re-hire, asserting my competence as a student. With the successful completion of my first year with Facilities I applied and was brought back for a second year.

Lindsay Inkila12

Lindsay Inkila:
Position
: Travel Counselor, Tourism Division
Schooling: 2nd Year Biology Student at Lakehead University
What I do: I assist Thunder Bay visitors in planning their trips, and I assist them in any way possible.
Training Received: Customer service workshop via corporate orientation, daily interaction and training with supervisors, learning about equipment use such as the computer.
Skills Required/Past Experience: People skills and customer service skills are required in this position in order to provide help and answer questions. This also requires knowledge about the City and the surrounding area. Time management awareness is essential as I’m helping people to plan ahead and make sure they can fit everything they want to accomplish into what is usually a time-constrained schedule.
Why They Like The Job/Favourite Part: Lindsay’s favourite part of the job is learning a lot of new skills and city information. This includes becoming aware of many new stories about visitors’ connections in Thunder Bay. She was also surprised to learn how many people visit from foreign or exotic environments.
How This Work Will Help You In The Future: When I travel by myself, I will now understand the importance of properly planning everything in advance. Planning helps to avoid the stress and confusion in visit a new place. I would say planning ahead is key to a successful trip.

Lauren Graydon10

Lauren Graydon:
Position
: Starter and Range Attendant
Schooling: Master’s in Speech Pathology student at the University of Minnesota
What I do: When I am a starter, I give out the bag tags and makes sure they are clearly seen on a golfer’s bag. This helps me so I can identify which golfers have paid for their rounds. While being a starter, I help people in their attempt to find tee-off times. However, when I’m a ranger, I help sweep the range and clean it. I then pick up the golf balls and tidy up the boxes.
Training Received: All-day workshop for safety, WHMIS, and customer service. However, I already had a background in customer service as my previous work experience was at a coffee shop. This allowed me to be more comfortable on the job. I asked more and more questions, enhancing my knowledge of the game of golf and getting to know the customers.
Skills Required/Past Experience: Having strong interpersonal skills, as you are always interacting with the golfers. Communication serves as the basis of my job.
Why They Like the Job/Favourite Part: I enjoy making connections with the golfers, all the while building relationships. I have also made connections that relate to my future profession. I have learned of speech pathologists who practice, at the same time as moving from place to place – I didn’t know previously that speech pathologists can practice kinetically.
How This Work Will Help You In The Future: As my academic field relates to communication and I do this on a daily basis, I get to implement what I have learned in school.

Stef Macleod10

Stef MacLeod:
Position
: Financial and Administrative Support Services Clerk, Transit Division
Schooling: 4th Year Marketing and Human Resources Student at Lakehead University
Training Received: Received corporate orientation training and also the business side of human resource management from supervisors.
Skills Required/Past Experience: Extensive knowledge of computer processing software such as Microsoft Office due to this being a large part of the job. I must have superior math ability, as accounting and maintaining inventory levels of stock take up a lot of my time. Social skills and excellent customer service interaction is a must as I answer a lot of phone inquiries daily. Additionally, I am responsible for the selling of bus passes and monitoring of the operation of different types of buses.
Why They Like The Job/Favourite Part: The employees I work with treat me as a young professional and not “just a student.” Also, I am receiving a lot of hands-on experience through marketing work that directly relates to my schooling.
How This Work Will Help You In The Future: I have been fortunate enough to have made contacts within the marketing department of The City of Thunder Bay. I have also had the opportunity to assist the Marketing and Planning Analyst with meetings at City Hall. He assigns me tasks that I am allowed work on independently

Youth Employment Services provides a valuable opportunity for students along with the High School Co-op program. The High School Co-op program places students in the workplace where they can experience the hands-on opportunity of working with professionals. Sometimes this leads to employment opportunities. Take a look at the example of Amanda (Legal Services Student), Michael (Operations Student) and Shayne (Business Clerk).

Amanda Gallo (Past Co-op Student):
Position:
Administration Assistant, Legal Services
Schooling: Grade 12 Student at St. Ignatius High School
Training Received: I received formal training with the City in a half-day student workshop in Human Resources. This workshop addressed the history of the corporation, its various departments, and corporate policies. I also attended a two-day workshop with YES Employment's "Summer Jobs for Youth" Program. During that workshop, I learned valuable workplace skills, such as how to write a resume, cover letter, and how to conduct a successful interview.
Skills Required/Past Experience: I enjoy the job because it provides me with the opportunity to observe first-hand what a career in the legal profession is like. I also have the opportunity to expand my knowledge in basic legal concepts and terminology. I enjoy being able to observe and participate in various legal procedures such as watching a trial, or preparing for the notarization of a document.
Why they Like the Job/Favourite Part: This work has already helped me in that it has affirmed my interest in pursuing a career in law. It will continue to help me to learn basic skills that I will need for that career, such as research, organization and communication skills.
How this work will help you in the future: I pursued my high school co-op student placement with the City's Legal Services Division after discussing my career goals with one of the Superior Court Justices. I was, and remain, motivated to pursue a career as a lawyer. The experience gained working for the City will assist me in pursuing similar jobs in the future, during my pre-law school education. It will also assist me with my personal resume which must be supplied with applications to law schools. During my co-op placement, my supervisor referred me to the "Summer Jobs for Youth" program with YES Employment, and through that program I was hired by the City for a paid summer position.

Michael Robinson (Past Co-Op Student):
Position: Operations Student, Office of the City Clerk
Schooling: 2nd Year Journalism Student University of Ottawa
Training Received: WHMIS, Customer Service Workshop, Corporate Orientation
Skills Required/Past Experience: Worked as a high school co-op student at the Archives, and received a job offer from the City Clerk’s office to work on the Doors Open event throughout the summer. Following that experience I applied for and was successful in obtaining a position working on the Doors Open event with the Heritage Advisory Committee with the Office of the City Clerk. Applied the following year through the student lottery. As I am responsible for a variety of tasks, I have to be able to learn a lot of different procedures and more about the city. There are two sections of my job: one is extremely customer service orientated, taking care of visitors and citizens of Thunder Bay who have questions or concerns about City services. The other part of the job is assisting the Committee Coordinators, who organize City Council meetings, with their daily routine.
Why they like the job/favourite part: Michael’s favourite part of the job is working with the various City departments. He often has to forward citizens to specific departments when they call in to City Hall to areas such as By-law & Licensing, or Community Services. Interacting with the public is a principal reason why Michael loves his job.
How this work will help you in the future: The assisting and administration enhances my organizational and time management skills. I also gains valuable insight into the municipal politics. Relating to my field of Journalism and communication, my time spent editing the City Clerk’s webpages increases my understanding of corporate communication strategies to the public, and my understanding of how to access City services.

Shayne Budden10

Shayne Budden (Past Co-Op Student):
Position: Currently I am a business office clerk at Dawson Court Home for the Aged. I previously worked the past two summers as a Clerk Typist Receptionist in Community Services. My duties included invoicing, receiving calls from the public, and other administrative tasks as assigned. Before I obtained my position, I was a co-op student working in the same department. This is where my employment with the City officially began!
Co-op: I became interested in acquiring an accounting co-op during high school. During my co-op, I received both practical and theoretical experience, skills I was unable to gain within the confines of the classroom. I did this in Grade 12 and received valuable hands-on experience.
Training Received: I received a variety of training, such as SAP which is the financial program used here by the City, Microsoft Excel, Class (registration program), and specialty training in Customer Service and general corporate orientation. My department wanted me to feel comfortable and consistent with their image before I represented them on the other side of counter.
Skills Required/Past Experience: Prior to my position with the City, I already possessed some degree of customer service skills but working in Community Services has allowed me to further enhance my skills as I was able to incorporate the professional and business domains into my customer service expression. Instead of providing basic customer service as I had done in my previous jobs, it was a lot more focused as I met the specific needs of the citizens who requested the City's services.
Why they like the job/favourite part: Community Services: My favourite part of the job was contributing to recreation and culture, because I was primarily focused on interacting with the public and being involved with City events. I loved being the face of the City.
How this work will help you in the future: The work I have done with the City has provided me with a more in-depth perspective about what it means to be a professional. Skills I developed at the City include: customer service, attention to detail, accuracy, and proper organization management techniques. These skills will surely assist me in my goal to one day move to another municipality and work in their corporate office as well. Overall, my time with Community Services was unforgettable and I cannot express how grateful I am to have shared my time with them not only as a co-op student, but eventually as a full-time summer student, and now as a full-time employee. The skills I have learned through working for the City are skills that I will carry with me throughout my life journey.