CareerBridge Students Thrive in Distance Summer Internships
By Eric Steckel | October 9, 2020
COVID-19 has disrupted so many aspects of life for children and youth. But try as it might, it couldn’t put a stop to our CareerBridge summer internship program.
This year, 20 eager high school students participated in a “distance learning” version of our one-of-a-kind internship. Instead of spending 6 weeks at Caltrans, BART, or our other community partners, CareerBridge students participated in online workshops focusing on diverse workplace topics such as finance, accounting, product development, marketing, leadership, and more. They applied what they learned and created their very own business — Heart2Heart, “Greeting Cards to Inspire.” Despite never being in the same place at the same time, they set up a business, designed a line of greeting cards, and brought them to market, all in a summer!
“It was a challenge, but we knew it was an important skill they needed to learn, especially in these times of distance learning and distance employment,” said Margena Wade-Green, CareerBridge program director.
“These skills will help them adapt to their future endeavors, distance or not. The students thrived using tools like Zoom, collaborating as teams, and discovering new uses for our resources. They learned how to react under difficult circumstances. These are vital career and life lessons, and we couldn’t be prouder of our team.”
A few of our interns shared their experiences and observations.
I’m a rising junior at Jesse Bethel HS and recently joined the Caltrans internship with CareerBridge. I will be an architectural engineer in the future, but until I started working with CareerBridge, I wasn’t sure where to begin. It helped me understand that there are many places to start and many different jobs from which to choose. That helped me focus my vision for the future. This summer has been challenging, but I was able to keep busy and continue learning with CareerBridge. Communication has been the biggest challenge. I’m usually a very social person, but distancing has given me some trouble. I am really glad all of the interns have such a wide set of communication skills and accountability. Each one of us strived to make this year’s internship succeed, pushing past wifi, time management, and family issues. CareerBridge has taught me that with hard work and dedication, I can accomplish anything. My journey these past weeks has been very fruitful, and I am very thankful.
“It helped me understand that there are many places to start and many different jobs from which to choose. That helped me focus my vision for the future.” – Malik
My CareerBridge summer internship experience has been really great. Even through Zoom, and the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought to our lives, I made a lot of real connections, and learned so much. CareerBridge taught me financial literacy, professionalism, the importance of equal opportunity, conflict resolution, marketing, leadership, and so much more. These skills are extremely important in college and choosing a career, and I’m really glad I got the opportunity to learn in such a helpful environment. Ms. Margena, Ms. Michelle, Ms. Meca, and all the other interns are such amazing people I’m blessed to have spent time with and discussed important topics with. Through my time at CareerBridge, I realized the importance of finding a career that speaks to me and that I love. I also learned many skills I need in order to get the job of my dreams, which I will always be thankful for.
“Through my time at CareerBridge, I realized the importance of finding a career that speaks to me and that I love.” – Sabine
My summer internship experience with CareerBridge has been astonishing so far. I received a lot of support from the staff and my fellow colleagues. This was my very first internship/job, and I struggled to find the right balance between work life and my personal life. Working from home gave me a lot of flexibility, although I often got interrupted by my family members. At the same time, I was able to become more disciplined. My favorite part of the internship was working with real professionals. They gave many insights into what it’s like to work at a particular department at Caltrans. We covered many topics, in particular social justice. I believe it’s important due to the current situation our country and the world is facing. I really appreciate CareerBridge for this opportunity because it exposed me to opportunities in the workforce. I hope to realize my ambition to be a software engineer in the future.
“My favorite part of the internship was working with real professionals. They gave many insights into what it’s like to work at a particular department at Caltrans.” – Daniel
Your support of CareerBridge has made it possible for 20 eager youth to learn vital career and life lessons. We are so proud of their hard work and dedication. If you want to support CareerBridge, here are a few ways you can help an enterprising youth!