February 2024 - Newsletter

In this issue

Since 2009, Northern Development Initiative Trust has offered several internship programs, each designed to provide a high level of professional development and hands-on training that help prepare recent graduates with the skills, experience and connections they need to propel their career forward.

2009 – 2015 : Economic Development Internship Program*
2013 – Present: Local Government Internship Program
2015: Local Government Planning Internship Program*
2017 – Present: Indigenous Government Internship Program
2020 – 2021: Business Development Internship Program(Pilot)*
*Retired Programs

To date, Northern Development has funded 128 interns and 53 of those are currently working in local or Indigenous government.

Northern Development recently welcomed Wendy Okoye to the team. Working as a Economic Development Coordinator, Wendy will focus a lot of her time developing the local and Indigenous government internships program.

“I am happy to be part of the NDIT team working on the Internship Program. Virtually meeting and interacting with our current Interns has been such a wonderful and informative experience for me,” said Okoye. “I work with such a great team that puts in so much passion and hard work to ensure that the internship program is a success to both the interns and the host communities. I am excitedly looking forward to meet the new interns for the 2024/2025 program and go through this journey with them, offering my assistance in anyway that it is needed.”

The Village of Masset currently has its first ever intern, Andalib Olee and the experience has been a positive one.

“At first, we weren’t sure what to expect, and the commitment required for a small Village with limited resources could be a real challenge,” said Village of Masset CAO Joshua Humphries. “We selected Andalib for several reasons, and over the year, he has been tasked with a few projects for which, with his help, we have successfully met our goals. We would recommend the program as it has been a real benefit to our community, and we will continue to look at this as a resource that we can tap into.”

Applications for the next internship program will be accepted until February 15, 2024.

Andalib Olee was gracious enough to answer a few questions about his experience as an intern in the Village of Masset.

Q. What has surprised you the most about your internship?

A. One of the most surprising aspects of my internship has been the breadth of experience and learning opportunities it has offered. I’ve been amazed by the intricacies of how a municipality operates and the diverse range of tasks and responsibilities involved in serving a community.

Q. Can you give me an example of one very positive experience you have had so far?

A very positive experience I’ve had so far is being actively engaged and valued within the team despite being an intern. It’s incredibly rewarding to have my opinions sought after and considered on various matters, demonstrating that my contributions are genuinely valued within the organization.

Q. Can you tell me about the support you receive from Northern Development staff?

A. Regarding the support I’ve received, the NDIT Director, Economic Development, and Joshua Humphries, the CAO of the Village of Masset, have been instrumental in helping us settle into the new community. Their assistance in arranging accommodations and providing guidance as we navigate our roles has been invaluable. Additionally, the support from staff and the other interns has created a supportive and collaborative environment where we can learn and grow together, sharing insights and experiences along the way. Overall, the support network has greatly enhanced my internship experience and facilitated a smooth transition into my roles within the Village of Masset.

Sai Hong Chan was gracious enough to provide answers to a few questions about the Northern Development Internship program. Sai Hong is currently working in the City of Williams Lake.

Q. What has surprised you the most about your internship?

A. The complexity of tasks surprises me the most. I believe this is due to managers’ 120% trust in me. In addition to the office work, I also had the opportunity to attend different kinds of meetings and site visits, attend first aid and other professional training courses, and shadow every city department. Being at the front desk and operating the plow truck are unforgettable memories because I never thought I would do those in my life.

Q. Can you give me an example of one very positive experience you have had so far?

A. One very positive experience I have had is receiving recognition from managers and mentors for my work. My effort is acknowledged verbally and in writing during team meetings and emails. Getting positive feedback is vital because it builds my confidence and motivates me to continue contributing to the City. I feel I am valued as one of the team members.

Q. Can you tell me about the support you receive from staff at Northern Development?

A. We had an orientation during the second week of the internship. NDIT provided tons of information on this program, expectations, and things to be aware of and introduced all the 2023-24 interns. All of this information helped me to have a great start to my internship.

We have biweekly engagement emails and monthly cohort meetings Northern Development. They take care of our work-related issues and mental health. Regular check-ins from NDIT are necessary, so I do not feel alone. Several times during the monthly meetings, guest speakers talked about different topics and shared their experiences, which helped us manage our work and life.

Interns created a WhatsApp chat room during orientation week. We ask questions and share information there. We also regularly update our latest status and emotionally support each other. That is how our friendship is maintained.