Team Internship Program Recruits Students to Consult for City of Glendale

Sofia Aguirre and Berenice Amaya

Select Glendale Community College students were chosen for a Team Business Internship opportunity that partnered with the City of Glendale in the Spring semester 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 so exciting to see how interns have moved on to find employment opportunities with the City and others who are part of this growing network,” said Rachel Ridgway, one of the coaches for Team Internships. 

The team internship consisted in finding a solution to a problem presented by the city of Glendale in groups of four or five members working three hours weekly for eight weeks. The problem was presented by the city of Glendale officials and students helped find a solution to keep the city engaged in sustainability actions and bring minority communities to the talk. This meant that participating in the Team internship allowed interns to not only learn transferable skills, interns were also able to learn more about the city of Glendale while creating a meaningful solution to help the city become a better and more inclusive place to live. Additionally, interns had guidance from coaches who introduced the idea of design thinking. 

Design thinking consists of taking a problem and breaking it down to understand who the problem affects, how, and what are the possible solutions to solve the problem. In other words, before finding solutions, design thinking requires the use of empathy to understand who and how the problem is affecting and instructs defining and focusing on the core problem. For example, the teams had to come up with ‘avatars’ that represented the individuals that were affected by the problem presented by the city of Glendale. Some teams made their avatars mothers who were immigrants and did not speak English well, while some others made their avatars college students who were struggling by taking classes and working part-time jobs. By creating avatars, interns were able to understand who the problem might be affecting which further allowed them to create solutions that were inclusive towards those individuals who are underrepresented. At the end of the eight weeks, interns presented their solutions to the city’s officials in charge of the program in a five-minute presentation followed by a five-minute question and answer session. The final presentations allowed interns to network not only within themselves but with the City of Glendale officials who were present at the final meeting. 

Students benefited from the experiences by working to develop transferable skills that are useful inside any workplace and in one’s day-to-day life. To illustrate, some of the transferable skills learned by the interns were: working in teams, public speaking, the importance of delegating work among team members, and adequate communication between team members. Concurrently, interns were also able to receive a resume workshop at the end of the internship where they learned the basics of writing a good resume. 

The team internship experience does not end here, interns were also able to develop friendships and create a small community between their groups and other groups. In short, participating in the Team Internship gives interns numerous benefits and an opportunity to help the city of Glendale become a better place to live. This Fall, GCC is hosting two cohorts of interns with two new business partners: the STEM track is working with the local non-profit Industrial District Green  and the Society & Problem-Solving Track is working with Metro and their consulting partner Arcadis. There will be two more cohorts starting in Spring 2023. Students interested in applying can look for the application in January at glendale.edu/TeamInternships.