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Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie Chai

Municipal Internship Alumni Spotlight: 

Stephanie Chai, Manager Regional Projects, Capital Region Board
Land Use Planner Intern for the Capital Region Board and Town of Beaumont 2012-2014 

Educational Background:

Bachelors of Arts from the University of Alberta
Master of Planning from Dalhousie University

Tell us about your experience as a Municipal Intern at the the Capital Region Board and the Town of Beaumont (2012-2014)

My experience with the Municipal Internship Program for Land Use Planners was excellent. The dynamic nature of the work at the Capital Region Board and the Town of Beaumont provided a plethora of planning opportunities within two short years. In addition to the exposure in regional and local responsibilities from each organization, the internship weeks (orientation, executive, transition, and wrap-up) and conferences (AUMA, AAMDC, CIP, etc) from the program were foundational in exploring the municipal realm.

Another notable positive from the internship was the advantage of mentorship and building relationships. I was surprised by the comraderie and significant impact of my peers and the Municipal Affairs administration. While many of the benefits from the internship were in some ways anticipated, the experiences gained from other (past and current) interns went well beyond my expectations and continues to be of great value.

What do you find the most rewarding about working in Municipal Government?

The most rewarding part of working in Municipal Government is the meaningful impact of improving communities. Whether through policy, education, council presentations, or public meetings, planning for sustainable development is both challenging and rewarding. I believe my daily efforts in this line of work is a career worth pursuing, complete with plenty of opportunities to continue expanding my horizons while also making a positive influence on the world around me.

How has the Municipal Internship Program helped prepare me for my career?

My time in the internship program has not only underpinned my career aspirations with experience in the municipal world but also enabled an opportunity to obtain full-time employment at the Capital Region Board. The internship provided numerous occasions to discover more about the planning field and to expand on my personal self-awareness. The foundation of best practices and tools from the program continues to help me grow and develop my career today.

What has been the highlight of your career?

The highlight of my career thus far has been honing my skills in adapting to new environments and working collaboratively. Every initiative or environment has required change more than once and each time I am impressed by the group of individuals supporting the team. I am grateful to have these people and the support they provide for success.

Advice for Interns:

During Their Internship

Visit other interns and take advantage of your professional development opportunities. Reach out to alumni and find out more about their experiences and how you may want to enhance your own experience. It is rare to have the time and freedom available so early in your career and to also be in a program that purposefully aims to support you in your personal growth!

After Their Internship

Maintain relationships and stay connected with others. Remember that your mentors, employers, Municipal Affairs administration, peers, and intern alumni have empowered you for the last two years. Do not simply disappear when you complete the program. The vast network and the shared experience from the internship is unique, and is a support structure that will continue long after the program ends.


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