Ever wondered what a day in the life of an intern is like?
My name is Bryanna Bui and I’ve been an intern for the Port of Seattle‘s External Relations Department for the past three summers. If you’re here you might be someone who’s interested in internships opportunities, looking to apply but not sure what to expect, or you’re just curious! Either way, I know the feeling and I hope to answer or provide some scope of what an internship is like — what you might be asked to do, what you may learn, and tips on how to make the most out of your job.
First, let me introduce a little about myself. I was born and raised in Burien, Washington and I’m currently in my second year of college, majoring in Media and Communications Studies at the University of Washington, Bothell. I started my internship with the Port the summer of my junior year of high school with no prior job experience and no clue on what to expect for my summer as an intern (Yes, you read that right. No experience, big yikes — I was terrified). However, as someone who’s been fortunate enough to have continued with the Port’s internship program for three years, I’ve learned tons about the working world, met so many kind, inspiring people, and have been involved with very interesting projects, events, and tasks. No day is exactly like the other in an internship — it can be exciting, bustling, unexpected and unplanned, but when you’re working to make the best out of your experience, it’s extremely rewarding.
So, what’s an average day as an intern at the Port of Seattle?
Here’s what my day tends to look like!
6:30 am: My alarm goes off — it’s time to get up and get ready for work! After a couple snoozes, then anxiously thinking about what I have scheduled for the day, I’m up and excited to get busy. I have to get to work by 8 a.m. (or try to at least), so I put on a nice pair of black pants, a blouse and cardigan, add a pair of cute flats and I’ve got a stylish semi-casual outfit to wear for the day (look good, feel good, am I right?). Then, I’m out the door and onto the bus heading for work using my Port-issued Orca card. I work at the airport in an office building located right above the terminal. From the desks and conference rooms, the Airport Office Building has some of the best views of aircraft, Mt. Rainier, and the most gorgeous sunsets overlooking the airfield.
8:00 am: I arrive at the office and head to my desk. After unpacking, I open and check my email and calendar, and my email is already full. The beginning of my morning seems free, so I walk over to my supervisor’s desk to ask if they need any help or have any projects I can assist with for the day. The answer is almost always, “Yes!” Now, cue my excitement. I’ve got a busy day planned ahead of me!
*Tip: Whether it’s your manager or another employee in your department, everyone always appreciates a helping hand and sometimes they can get too busy to delegate work — so don’t be afraid to take initiative and ask around for tasks. That’s how I ended up writing this blog post and now I am a published author with writing samples to add to my portfolio. And take a look at my other blog post, Secrets of Sea-Tac Airport.
My desk space and its essentials: coffee, some chocolates, and a notepad for notes and to-do lists.
9:00 am: In a meeting. I take notes on anything new I learn, what’s coming up, and any potential projects or events I can help with. Today, I’m learning about the Port’s End to Human Trafficking awareness campaign and the effective/appropriate language for the campaign’s press releases.
10:00 am: Meeting’s over so I’m back at my desk to work on a writing assignment.The Port’s Connections newsletter is coming out this week, so I’m writing a short section of the newsletter listing the television, print, and online news coverage that featured the Port of Seattle in the last two weeks.
11:00 am: The Celebrations at Sea-Tac Lunar New Year event is happening at 12 PM. Time to help set up for the event — gather and pack the red envelope gifts and posters on a cart and get ready for the celebration.
11:45 am: Speakers and dancers arrive. Head down to meet the lion dance group and escort them to their places for the big event! And I will also sample the snacks from the new Vietnamese restaurant at the airport.
12:00 pm: Event starts. Snap some photos on my camera and phone to post a Lunar New Year Instagram story on the @seatacairport Instagram account.
12:45 pm: Assist with event takedown and head back to the office.
1:00 pm: It’s finally lunchtime!!! I’m starving. I heat up the lunch I packed, put on a YouTube video, and take my break.
2:00 pm: Monitor the Port’s social media and respond to customer questions. Looks like someone misplaced their passport — so I give them information to reach the Lost and Found office, a link, and a note that says “Hope this helps!”
2:30 pm: Upload and edit photos from the Lunar New Year Celebration. I get to help decide which photos will be featured in press releases and on the website.
3:00 pm: Help plan the logistics of an event — write up a run of show (the minute to minute schedule for what will happen during an event), book the conference room and caterers, and send out calendar invites to participants.
4:00 pm: Gather and set-up name tags and sign-in sheets for an evening meeting in the Conference Center. Greet guests at event registration.
5:00 pm: The day is finally over! Time to pack up and say, “See you tomorrow!” for yet another work day. And who knows what will happen tomorrow — and that’s the best part of my job!
Learn more about the Port of Seattle internship program and apply for 2019 internship positions.
Participating in the 2018 Annual Foreign Objects and Debris Walk — to remove objects from the airfield.
Taking photos of interns before boarding a new Alaska delivery flight for intern networking event at Boeing Field.
Photo of me and another intern, Aidin. The Port’s internship helped me build not only professional connections but also great friendships.
Joining the SeaGals in the airport terminal to celebrate the Seahawks heading to the 2018 NFL play-offs.
Other External Relations interns and I all geared up and assisting in a media event at the International Arrivals Facility construction site.
Boomer the Reindeer and I taking a quick pic and spreading the cheer at #SEAtheCheer Reindeer Games.
Getting goofy and encouraging folks to take photos at the Port of Seattle’s “Our Shared Duwamish River” Multilingual Boat Tour where I also had the opportunity to be a speaker to encourage and inspire other local youth to apply for the Port’s internship program.