Athabasca Summer Student Program’s Second Year
By Allison Strong
Athabasca Basin Development organized the Athabasca Summer Student Program for the second year in partnership with Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), and five of our investment companies, including Athabasca Basin Security, Points Athabasca, Artic Beverages, Team Drilling, Flyer Electric, and Rise Air.
The program opened to applicants in February and employed 18 post-secondary students from the Athabasca Basin Region. Positions include IT, labour, yard, mechanics, admin, HR, accounting, marketing, and communications and this year, also welcomed students employed by the economic development entities in the Athabasca communities. Students applied to a range of positions based on the needs of the organization, which provided opportunities that best matched the student’s past experiences, areas of interest, and levels of study.
2nd Year Program Experience: Organizing A Summer Student Event
This year, the Athabasca Summer Student program included a celebration event that allowed the students working in the program to connect with each other, as the friendships made in the program’s first year had helped the students during their studies and with future employment. The Summer Student Event was organized by one of the summer students in the Program, Allison Strong, who works in the Marketing and Communications summer student position at Athabasca Basin Development.
Interview with Allison Strong
What was it like working in the program this year?
I enjoyed my summer position with Athabasca Basin Development as the Marketing and Communications summer student. The job offered opportunities to further develop community relations skills. One of my most fulfilling moments this summer was organizing the Athabasca Summer Student Event. Creating a memorable and fun day for the students ignited my enjoyment of planning events that promoted connection.
Can you tell us the importance of the summer student event?
Organizing the summer student event allowed the Athabasca students in the program to meet other students that shared similar backgrounds, interests, and cultures. Throughout the summer, students from the northern Athabasca region continue living in the south during their studies, sometimes feeling alone in their journey to success. In last year’s Athabasca Summer Student program, students from the program provided support for each other throughout the school year, making these friendships valuable to student success.
How was the process of organizing the summer student event?
Planning the summer student event was new for me. I had to work with a budget, book a venue, plan for food and student transportation, create a day agenda, and send out invitations. At first, I was nervous to plan an event because these responsibilities were new to me, but by the end of it, I had learned more then I imagined I could in a summer student program.
What did you learn from your experience in the Summer Student program this year?
Throughout my summer, I have learned to be open to new opportunities. Last year, the program gave me the work experience within businesses and helped with building a work ethic. This year, Athabasca’s Summer Student program helped me see the deeper values that incorporate community and working together. As the program is built from a collaborative perspective, these businesses work together to provide a great working and mentorship experience. I am happy to have been able to absorb and share the respect for cultural protocols, and the community-based thinking that benefits all of those in the Athabasca Region.