Newsletter Signup

Claire’s final article

My time as a co-op student at City Hall is coming to a close, and now I have the opportunity to reflect on my IMG_1916placement. Marianne told me I could write about what I’ve learned, what I’ve taken away, or any of my observations. I’m only three sentences in, and I can already tell that this is going to be a tough article to write. Where do I begin?

I’ll start with the beginning. At first, I was slightly intimidated to march up to the councillor’s floor every single morning and sit in Marianne’s office to do work. That changed within the first two weeks after I saw how welcoming everyone was. The assistants Rosemary, Francine, and Sheri were always there before me in the morning to say hello as I walked through the door. Rebecca and Kathy helped me out a lot for my final summative project by going around the building with me, trying to find assorted buttons and pins. Georgie was always there to help me find any information that I needed, and also put up with all of my questions that I asked.

Going to public meetings, events, and even some business meetings really intimidated me because I’ve never been to anything like that before. When I went to my first Burlington Downtown Business Association meeting I was pretty hesitant about it all. I was surprised that Marianne was taking me to these events and even letting me write about them on her website. That’s probably the major aspect of this placement that I didn’t see coming, and that was Marianne actually published some of my own articles. I wasn’t just some kid sitting in their office all day doing minimal work, because boy, did they ever put me to work! From formatting the hardcopy newsletters, to adding events to the online calendar, I always had something to do.

Being at City Hall has also shown me how our municipal government works. I have seen how people really act in our city, with good or bad manners. A city councillor’s job is a lot of work and filled with a lot of responsibility. It’s hard (almost impossible) to make everyone happy when people have different opinions. Don’t even get me started on parking!

IMG_1963I’m almost done, hang in there. I talked about how I was intimidated in the beginning about my placement, however now I can say that my confidence has grown, not only in my writing but also as a person. I’ve learned how to handle an interview over the phone (thanks to Brian Dean for putting up with my pestering questions), talking with people I’ve never met before at meetings, and even just introducing myself. All of the tips that Marianne has given me about writing so the readers can fully understand what I’m saying have helped me a lot. Georgie has shown me how teamwork makes the dream work. She’s very in tune with Marianne’s schedule and seems to always lend a helping hand.

I haven’t forgotten about you though. Yes you, you’ve read nearly this entire article. Even if this is your first time reading my work, I’d like to say thanks. I tend to blabber on about topics but I try to keep it interesting, so thank you for reading the co-op student’s work. Maybe you’ll read more of my work in the future, who knows. I do know that I still have lots to learn, and with this chapter under my belt I feel excited. For anyone interested in doing a co-op placement with Marianne and Georgie at City Hall, I have to say you will not regret it.

My Take: We will miss Claire dearly and all she contributed to our office. When she first approached us we wondered if we’d have enough work for her; that quickly became concern we would overwhelm her! But Claire stepped up to everything we threw at her. We don’t know how we’re going to keep up with the work load without her! We learned as much from her, as she us, and appreciated the fresh perspective she brought as a young person. Claire, you will do well whatever you set your mind to. Be curious, courageous and compassionate, and say what needs to be said in your writing. That combination will take you go far.

Are you a high school student looking for a placement in writing or municipal government? We are taking applications for the fall and winter terms. Contact


Receive new post notifications by email

1 thought on “Claire’s final article”

  1. Claire, so glad that you enjoyed your time working with Marianne. I’m not surprised that you found the experience so positive; Marianne is an excellent councillor with outstanding communication skills.

What's your take?

Here are guidelines before you comment, and our expectations before we will post:

  • Be civil. Would you speak this way to a good friend? If not, rewrite.
  • Focus on the issues. Build your argument and make your case in support of your opinion from facts, research or other sources. That way we can all learn. “I disagree with so-and-so because…” is fine; “So-and-so is naïve/stupid  for thinking the way he/she does and here’s why…” is not acceptable.
  • Don’t make personal attacks. Don’t assume motives of those you disagree with, make unfounded allegations, spread rumours, or engage in any other behaviours that would discourage you from participating if someone said this to, or about, you. The Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have done to you. We will edit or not post comments with this type of content.
  • Say it once: When comments from the same individual or individuals become repetitive, going over ground already stated, we reserve the right to close commenting.
  • Use your full, and real, name. If wish to make a comment in public, we expect you will publicly stand behind it with your name. If you don’t want to publicly reveal your name, that’s fine; you are always welcome to share your thoughts with me privately via my email below. I welcome and consider all feedback in making decisions for the community.
  • Have fun, consider and learn. Share your views and read those of others. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas, and learn a little more about the people in our community, what you think, and what’s important to each of you. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; even if you don’t, we hope everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.

Newsletter Sign Up

Phone: 905-335-7607

Constituent Assistant: Hannelie van Niekerk
905-335-7600, ext. 7689