Seasonal work transition to full time employment

Stories of three of our staff

Vikki Dupuis, West End Community Centre Facility Manager

After two years as a camper at City of Guelph Barber Scout Camp, I was asked to come back as a Leader in Training. For two years I spent my summers there and the third year I was hired as staff. The rest, as they say, is history. Back then I had a tremendous passion for kids and camp so imagine my astonishment when I discovered in my senior high school year, that three universities in Canada were offering an Honours Recreation degree. It was a dream come true. Each summer I continued working camps, then playgrounds. After graduating I moving into facility bookings, then recreation programming for 17 years and then managing the West End Community Centre. I’m proud to say that I’ve been an employee of the City of Guelph, in some capacity, every year since I was 15 years old! And the best part of it all is that I still get to bring that same passion to the job that I began with at 15!

Tim Robertson, Process Operations Supervisor

Although it was nearly 20 years ago now, I vividly recall receiving a phone call from the supervisor of Parks and Recreation, Ian Milne. My application and subsequent interview resulted in me being offered a summer position on the sports field crew. I gladly accepted the offer and my journey with the City of Guelph had begun.

Being a sports enthusiast I could not wait to get started with the thought of spending the summer outdoors and earning some much-needed money between semesters maintaining the various recreational offerings. General upkeep of tennis courts, lining of soccer fields and overall maintenance of baseball and softball diamonds were examples of such activities I was involved in. The latter requiring me to be trained on the operation of a tractor (for gilling or grooming the in fields), which was quite interesting.

I was hired back for two additional seasonal work terms. Nearing the end of my last work term I was provided the opportunity to extend my work term at the Waterworks department and then at the Wastewater department. Exposure to both of these areas provided me with an insight into the breadth of services the City of Guelph has to offer. I enjoyed my time at both locations but in particular, was very interested in learning more about the intricacies of wastewater treatment. The more I learned the more interested I was in investigating how to turn this into a career path.

In 1995 while working seasonal at the wastewater department I applied for a full-time position at the City’s landfill. My goal was to always return to the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and when offered, I decided to take the landfill position so to be in the best possible situation if a full-time position at the WWTP came up.

In 1997 a Spare Operator position did come up at the wastewater treatment plant and having spent almost two years preparing for such a position (obtaining an operator in training licence as well as completing University of Sacramento Wastewater treatment distance education courses I & II), I was successful in obtaining my goal, and started my career at wastewater services. I spent the next 8 years as a licensed wastewater operator obtaining a Class IV licence and for the past 6+ years have been the Process Operations Supervisor.

One never knows where a seasonal position at the City of Guelph might take you.

Peter Busatto, General Manager of Guelph Water Services

My employment with the City of Guelph started twenty-five years ago when I first worked as a summer student for the Guelph Waterworks Department. At that time, summer students performed many of the same duties as they do today, from repairing water pipes to cutting grass and cleaning to helping in the office. I thought it was a great job because I was done most weekdays by 4 pm, had weekends and holidays off, and got to work outside with some of my friends. When I graduated from university a few summers later, the best opportunity I had for working full-time was in this familiar environment as an operator in both the water and wastewater plants. I quickly learned from experienced operators the challenges and successes of providing safe drinking water and returning cleaned wastewater to the river. Over the next fifteen years I took on new assignments with increasing responsibility, including automation and computerization, environmental monitoring, business administration, and customer service. I have had the chance to work and learn from great people during this journey and have never been bored. Eventually I was given the opportunity to move into a management position and have not looked back. I still enjoy being part of a family of employees serving our neighbours and the community!