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Government internship preps UNBC student for career

Michael Coulson may not have a job that puts him in the public spotlight too often, but his recent work for the District of Taylor will likely be seen for years to come.
michael-coulson
Michael Coulson speaks about his internship experience at a district council meeting Feb. 19, 2018.

Michael Coulson may not have a job that puts him in the public spotlight too often, but his recent work for the District of Taylor will likely be seen for years to come. 

Coulson is nearing the end of his year-long placement as a local government management intern through the Northern Development Initiative Trust. He’s spent the last year helping write and repeal bylaws, surveying residents about traffic, inspecting workplaces, and helping to set up the Parcel Z subdivision for development.

“Each one of these projects represents a significant amount of time that staff and council has invested in me through mentorship and guidance, and patience,” Coulson told councillors during a year-end report of his duties Feb. 19. “I have a lot of gratitude for that.”

The Trust’s internship program links post-secondary graduates wanting a career in local government with municipalities in Central and Northern B.C. For Coulson, an urban and environmental planning student from the University of Northern BC, the best part of the job was running the traffic survey and helping out with Parcel Z.

District staff are already costing out solutions to respond to the issues identified in Coulson's traffic survey, and councillors are forging ahead with the servicing of Parcel Z to help spur new residential development. 

Coulson has focused his school project work and research on transportation and infrastructure, and those two projects were certainly a perfect fit, he said.

Mayor Rob Fraser and Coun. Betty Ponto noted Coulson’s work ethic and enthusiasm, and asked him whether the internship program was valuable and prepared him for a career in government.

“Most of these projects, in fact all of them, pertained to the education I walked out of UNBC with and pertained to my interests,” he said.

“I have yet to hear of another internship program that sets you up with the kind of opportunities this one does."

editor@ahnfsj.ca