Northern Development’s (ND) local government internship program has been very beneficial to the District of Houston.
According to a newsletter by ND, former intern Holly Brown accepted the role of executive assistant and grant writer in September 2019, which she held for eight months before being promoted to deputy corporate officer and communications officer in June 2020. This summer, Brown moved up in the organization again, and is now the director of corporate services for the District of Houston.
“The most rewarding aspect of a career in local government in Northern B.C. is the visibility of the positive impacts of your work,” explained Brown in the newsletter. “In smaller communities, it is likely that you know and live with the people who benefit from municipal projects and services. I think it can really enhance a person’s sense of fulfillment in their employment and belonging within the community when they feel connected to these outcomes that they contribute to.”
Earlier this summer, Brown was acting chief administrative officer (CAO) after Gerald Pinchbeck, former CAO, resigned after more than three years in the role. Pinchbeck was Brown’s mentor during her internship with the District of Houston.
“The highlight of my internship was working with an incredible senior leadership team in Houston,” said Brown. “They helped me grow professionally from a recent post-secondary graduate to a working professional and develop a diverse skill set to adapt to changing priorities in local government and a variety of issues we face in our work.”
According to Northern Development’s newsletter, Brown recently hired another former intern Madelaine Swift as deputy corporate officer and grant writer with the District of Houston. Brown and Swift were both members of the 2019 internship program. With the addition of Swift, the District of Houston is now employing two former interns as well as one current local government intern.
“I highly recommend a Northern Development internship to anyone who is looking to enter the field of public administration,” Brown said. “It is an excellent opportunity to gain direct mentorship from industry leaders and become familiar with the special communities in Northern B.C.,” Brown said in the newsletter.
In the newsletter, District of Houston Mayor Shane Brienen chimed in on the program as well and was very supportive. “We’ve had some excellent graduates come through the local government internship program and it’s good to have young people stay and work in the north. They’re entering into professional jobs through the program and are doing outstanding work. The District of Houston appreciates all the past and present interns that have worked with us and how they have made a tangible difference in our community.”
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