Select students from Glendale Community College have been chosen for a team internship opportunity in partnership with the City of Glendale in the spring of 2022. Interns participating in the team internship at the college learned transferable skills for the workplace and had the opportunity to network. “It’s been so exciting to see how interns have evolved to find employment opportunities with the City and others who are part of this growing network,” said Rachel Ridgway, one of Team’s coaches. Internships.
The team internship consisted of finding a solution to a problem presented by the city of Glendale in groups of four or five members working three hours a week for eight weeks. The problem was presented by Glendale city officials and the students helped find a solution to keep the city committed to sustainability actions and bring minority communities into the discussion. This meant that participating in the team internship not only allowed the interns to gain transferable skills, but also to learn more about the city of Glendale while creating a meaningful solution to help the city become a place of better and more inclusive life. In addition, the trainees were guided by coaches who introduced the idea of design thinking.
Design thinking is about taking a problem and breaking it down to understand who the problem affects, how, and what the possible solutions are to solving the problem. In other words, before finding solutions, design thinking requires the use of empathy to understand who and how the problem affects and instructs to define and focus on the main problem. For example, the teams had to create “avatars” that represented the individuals affected by the problem presented by the city of Glendale. Some teams made their avatars of immigrant mothers who didn’t speak English well, while others made their avatars of college students who struggled to attend classes and work part-time. By creating avatars, the interns were able to understand who the issue might affect, which allowed them to create solutions that were inclusive of underrepresented people. At the end of the eight weeks, the interns presented their solutions to the city officials in charge of the program during a five-minute presentation followed by a five-minute question and answer session. The final presentations allowed the interns to network not only with each other but with the City of Glendale representatives who were present at the final meeting.
Students benefited from these experiences by working to develop transferable skills that are useful in any workplace and in everyday life. To illustrate, some of the transferable skills acquired by the trainees were: teamwork, public speaking, the importance of delegating work between team members and proper communication between team members. . At the same time, the interns were also able to benefit from a CV workshop at the end of the internship where they learned the basics of writing a good CV.
The team internship experience doesn’t stop there, the interns were also able to develop friendships and create a small community between their groups and other groups. In short, participating in Team Internship provides interns with many benefits and an opportunity to help the city of Glendale become a better place to live. This fall, GCC is welcoming two cohorts of interns with two new business partners: the STEM track works with local non-profit Industrial District Green and the Society & Problem-Solving track works with Metro and their consulting partner Arcadis. There will be two more cohorts starting in the spring of 2023. Students interested in applying can search for the application in January at glendale.edu/TeamInternships.