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Shannon Gorner

Municipal Internship Alumni Spotlight 
Shannon Gorner
Accounting Technician, Town of Ponoka

Administrator Intern, Town of Ponoka  2011-2013

Educational Background:
Bachelor of Arts, Major in Family and Child Development  South Virginia University

Thoughts on being a Municipal Intern?

My experience as a municipal intern was interesting and enjoyable from beginning to end. It was a little unusual as I started about six months later than the other interns in my year.

The most beneficial part of participating in the municipal internship program was the opportunity to get hands on experience in a variety of positions. There are few jobs out in the real world that are so diverse in their responsibilities and actually allow you to spend time in each department. I was able to learn so many things - from ice maintenance at the Arena to learning the process of creating and maintaining municipal bylaws and policies. These are skills I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

What was your most memorable experience as an intern?

My most memorable experience as an intern was my first project, the Ponoka Eco-Friendly Trail project. We used a provincial grant to install a recycled tire path in town. It was a wonderful experience to feel like, in my own small way, I helped improve the community.

What experience had the greatest impact during your internship?

My most impactful experience as an intern was working with my supervisor on a daily basis, and learning of the challenges he faced in his position. This included meetings with our regional water service commission and waste management authority. I learned very early how to take meeting minutes, and that got me invited to almost every meeting.

How do you feel your time in the Municipal Internship Program helped prepare you for your career?

The municipal internship has shaped my entire career. As I was finishing my degree in Social Work I started developing an interest in Political Science but unfortunately it was too late to switch degrees at that point. So after graduation the internship was an amazing opportunity for me, as it got my foot in the door.

Advice for Interns:

During Their Internship

The best advice I can give to current interns is to make the most out of your internship. You will only get out what you put in to the experience.  Put yourself out there. Go out of your comfort zone and do, and experience, as much as you can in the short time given to you. The time goes quickly and then you’re back in the real world.

After Their Internship

After the internship I would say keep in contact with other interns and others that you meet throughout your internship. Networking is such an important part of the municipal world so hang onto those business cards that you collect.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the municipal government field?

The most rewarding thing about working in municipal government is the feeling that I’m helping to keep our community happy and functioning.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career has been all the experience that I have received working in the Finance Department. If it wasn’t for the internship I would never have realized my love of accounting. I am now taking accounting courses and slowly working towards my CPA designation.


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