The 2020 summer students (from L-R) Anna Shaffer, Emma Moore, Courtney Warkentin and Meghan Olson outside the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce. (Priyanka Ketkar photo)

The Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce gets a new batch of summer students

Students plan to ensure people have a great summer

Every year, summer brings a host of new students working at the Burns Lake Chamber of Commerce. This year, the chamber has employed four summer students, Meghan Olson, Courtney Warkentin, Anna Shaffer and Emma Moore.

Olson, who has worked at the tourism centre before, will soon be graduating from the Thompson Rivers University with a Diploma in Tourism.

“I think it is pretty beneficial for me to get all this work experience,” said Olson.

On one hand there is Olson, for whom working at a visitor centre means a perfect fit with her career goals, while on the other hand there are Warkentin and Shaffer who had heard about the job from Olson and a few previous summer students and were seeking a different experience that would allow them to interact with people. Warkentin, who is doing her educations program with math and special education from Trinity Western University, started her summer job a couple of weeks ago.

“I thought tourism would be a cool thing to be a part of where I would get to interact with so many people, meet different people,” she said.

Shaffer is also planning to make her career in education and is a UBC Kelowna student with a French major and an English minor. However, a summer job in tourism for her means a new way to interact with people. “It has been really interesting, just lots of different things that I haven’t done before. Seeing a lot more people,” she said.

Moore agreed with this, and added that the reason she applied for the summer job was because of her passion for the beautiful local experiences. “I was very excited to find a job that really encourages this lifestyle and the beauty of this place,” she said. Moore is doing her Bachelors of Education with a major in social studies and minor in Art from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

All four summer students are hoping to go back to school in fall even if it is just online classes. The way they take classes might’ve changed due to Covid however, they are hoping that despite the restrictions and border closures, they would still get to interact with people through this summer job. Olson remarked that although things might be different this summer from the last time she worked at the visitor centre, they are still hoping to do their best.

“We just want to try and make service just as friendly as it usually is. Make people still feel welcome when sometimes there is a literal barrier now,” said Olson, pointing to the plexi glass barrier at the front desk.

Moore added to this, assuring that “although the way that we interact maybe different, the opportunities are still here and everybody is working hard to make sure that those opportunities continue and that everyone will have a great summer.”

As part of the summer job, the girls will be down at the Radley beach selling ice cream and distributing brochures about Burns Lake starting July. “And our ice cream is really sick this year, so everybody should come check it out,” exclaimed Moore.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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