The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is offering high school students around the Bay Area the opportunity this summer to gain professional experience in transportation planning, engineering and related fields through its High School Summer Internship Program. Now celebrating its 18th year, the internship program is now accepting applications for 34 paid summer jobs with a variety of public transit agencies, city planning departments and public works agencies throughout the region. Internships are available in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties. A list of internship opportunities and the online application instructions are available at: https://jobs.mtc.ca.gov/internships.
Students can choose to work either full- or part-time, up to 250 hours, from June 26 to August 31, 2018, and will earn $15 per hour, with their wages paid by MTC. Students hired through the program are expected to attend an orientation session on June 26, as well as a closing forum on August 9, where they will present highlights of their work over the summer. Both events will take place at MTC’s offices at 375 Beale Street in San Francisco.
The mentorship aspect of the program has been a primary draw for both the student interns and participating host agencies for nearly two decades. Students work closely with professionals at the agencies to create meaningful, collaborative summer experiences, fostering connections for college recommendation letters and future job opportunities.
“The City of San Ramon enjoys being a part of the MTC High School Internship Program because we have the opportunity to mentor local teens who express interest in transportation planning, engineering or local government,” says Darlene Amaral, transportation analyst with the City of San Ramon, who mentored an intern last summer.
Lloyd Nadal, program services division manager at the Solano Transportation Authority, agrees that MTC interns have been valuable to not only his workplace but also his larger community, stating that the program “has been a great mechanism to involve our local Solano students in the work that we do. We highly value the intern experience here at STA and through this program, many of our youth have gone on to be leaders in the community.”
The internship positions combine office experience and fieldwork in competitive, high-demand job sectors. In addition to transportation planning and engineering, previous interns have left the program with skills in marketing, communications, public outreach, data analysis, utility maintenance, website development and video editing, as well as GIS, AutoCAD and other software programs.
“My experience with the City of Vacaville as a high school intern through MTC's summer program was the kick-start to my career,” explains former MTC intern Jacqueline. “I thought my first internship would involve getting coffee and making copies,” she continues, “but this opportunity was the exact opposite. I was using GIS software, sitting in on meetings, going out in the field to check up on projects, and helping organize bids, as well as learning so much about the civil engineering and public transportation departments. I felt like a part of the team at my internship site, and I was sad to leave it at the end of the summer.”
AC Transit General Manager Michael Hursh agrees that the MTC intern experience goes well beyond typical expectations for a high school summer job. “AC Transit has proudly welcomed impressive and knowledgeable interns from the MTC High School Internship Program for several consecutive years,” he explains. “We’re excited to meet our next up-and-coming transit star. This year’s intern will roll up his or her sleeves and work on our new and innovative $213 million Bus Rapid Transit Project. Ultimately, I want every intern to leave us with world class transit experience and a commitment to make their own mark in shaping the public transit of the future.”
To apply, students should follow the application instructions online at https://jobs.mtc.ca.gov/internships. Students may apply only for internships in the county in which they live and go to school, and they must have completed 10th grade and be at least 16 years of age by the start of the program on June 26. Graduating seniors in 2018 are eligible to apply for the internships. The application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, March 25, 2018.