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Alumni Spotlight: Melanie McConnell

Municipal Internship Alumni Spotlight: 

Melanie McConnell, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer/Senior Manager, Legislative and Information Services, Lac La Biche County

Administrator Intern for Athabasca County 2006-2008 

Educational Background: 

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture/Food Business Management, University of Alberta

Tell us about your experience as a Municipal Intern at Athabasca County (2006-2008)

My experiences in the program help set the foundation for my career. During my internship I had the opportunity to work with a variety of departments which exposed me to the range of services provided to the community. As well, I was given the opportunity to focus on two aspects of municipal administration – Legislative Services and Planning and Development.
Following the first month or so and while travelling home from the internship orientation, I remember realizing this was a career path that I would find fulfilling.

Specific to my work while in the program, my most impactful and memorable experience was helping plan and execute the 2007 General Municipal Election.

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

The variety of work is tremendously fulfilling and I thoroughly enjoy serving the community.

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

Focusing on the two mentioned areas set me up for the position I currently hold. As an Intern, I spent a great deal of time working directly with the CAO and County Council during my first year of the program. My current position sees similar expectations as the Assistant CAO. As well, having the previous experience with Planning and Development now assists me in my duties related to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Serving as Assistant CAO has been one of the highlights for me. This position has been a tremendous learning experience and I am grateful that I have my internship experiences to draw from.

Advice for Interns:

During Their Internship

Maximize your opportunities for professional development and networking. The connections you’ll make at these sessions will follow you throughout your career.

After Their Internship

It is important to reflect on how the work we do as public servants contribute to the communities we serve and the well-being of the residents. Our responsibilities as public servants should be paramount when developing recommendations to Council and making administrative decisions.


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