Kyle Bullock, Director of Corporate Services at the Town of Coalhurst
Administrator Intern for the Town of Raymond 2011-2013
Educational Background:Bachelors of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge ’11
Complete his Certified Management Accounting (CMA) designation in 2013
Tell us about your experience as a Municipal Intern at the Town of Raymond (2011-2013)My experience with the program first started off at a career fair as a 4th year Management/Accounting student trying to figure out what I should do with my degree once I graduated.
It wasn’t an obvious choice at first, but the thing that sparked my interest in the program, was a chance to continue to explore and apply my skills directly after university, in a learning environment, while getting paid at the same time! Seemed like a perfect combination to me!
I was surprised at how flexible the whole experience was. Each intern is expected to spend time learning from departments like public works, parks & recreation, or council administration, but it’s up to you, coordinating with your coworkers, as to how you would like to learn. Sometimes I helped paint lines at the soccer field or worked the front desk at the Golf Course. Other days, I’d follow our Chief Administrative Officer to meetings he had at the office or in neighboring communities. And on the slow days, I’d read the Municipal Government Act or surfed websites of other communities to learn more about them. I loved the variety which always kept things interesting.
What do you find the most rewarding about working in Municipal Government?
My favorite part about working in Municipal Government is the variety I have in my job. While my main focus is the accounting and finance side of things, I get to be involved with many of the other parts of the municipality. Whether it’s finding solutions for better office management, helping to organize capital plans and budgets for Town Council, or providing advice on whether it’s better to buy or rent a piece of equipment. It’s rewarding to see progress in the Town and help to build and provide things that make it a better place to live.
How has the Municipal Internship Program helped prepare me for my career?
Besides learning about all of the ins and outs of how municipalities function, the best take-away from the program for me was the many connections that were made through the entire experience. First, I had amazing mentors in Raymond with varying work experience and backgrounds, who were always willing to take time to teach and explain things. That helped me to decide if this is the industry I should stick with and specialize in. Second, I was instantly plugged in to a network of municipal professionals around the Province to bounce ideas off or get advice from. Having the opportunity to attend many local meetings, provincial conferences, and internship events allowed me to build on my professional network to open doors in the future.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Besides feeling thankful to go to a job I enjoy and work with great people, one of my career highlights was shortly after my internship was over. I stayed at the Town of Raymond for another 6 months in a mish-mash of positions we created called a Finance and Communications Clerk. During this time, I assisted in developing plans for a large outdoor recreation facility. As part of the fund-raising efforts, I nominated the Town for a nation-wide competition to earn money and exposure for the facility. Through a campaign involving social media as well as videos I produced, the Town ended up winning the voting competition and I was able to be the chairperson for the local organizing committee. In this capacity, I was able to help coordinate plans for the live television broadcast, cheque presentation, and celebration between the Town and TSN and Kraft Canada. It was so fun to come together as a Town as we planned and helped to organize and big event like this. I feel very fortunate to been given the freedom and opportunity to do that and I’m excited to see the final product this year as the facility is about to be completed this year!
Advice for Interns:
During Their Internship
It’s very easy for days and weeks to slip by during the program where you feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything. The most important thing for interns to keep in mind is it’s up to you to make the most of your experience. You’re basically getting paid to learn! Take advantage of all of the resources available during the internship program. This includes developing relationships with co-workers, connecting with other past and present interns, and asking lots of questions!
After Their Internship
As many of my co-workers used to say, “Enjoy it because the gravy train eventually runs out!” After being in the driver’s seat for so long – attending various conferences, sitting in on almost any meeting you would like, or being able to bounce between departments as you please, this will suddenly end. It’s important that you take time to look around for other opportunities that fit your career goals and interests, so you don’t end up stranded on the side of the road. Don’t assume there will be a position available at your municipality. And if there is, don’t assume that’s the best choice for you. Also, make sure to leverage your internship experience at your next interview, whatever it’s for!