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Intern Testimonies

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Anticipating Aerospace Engineer fits Aviation Position

Currently attending Raisbeck Aviation High School rising junior, Brynne Hunt is a step closer to achieving her goal of becoming an aerospace engineer.

In her school’s career center, Brynne saw a posting for the Port of Seattle seeking high school interns and she was immediately interested. Her aspirations for the future aligned perfectly with the position she applied for as an Aviation Maintenance Intern. 

She is allowed the opportunity to explore beyond what the travelers see, “the airport is run and managed like a well-oiled machine,” Brynne says. Working closely with Stuart Matthews, the department director, she attends meetings, creates spreadsheets, and oversees the janitorial contract. 

Though she has worked previously as a babysitter and camp counselor, this internship has been her first true experience in the field she hopes to pursue.

Along with the experience another thing Brynne values about her internship is the chance to interact with a diverse group of individuals. After some years in the industry Brynne hopes to expand her knowledge by returning to school and getting her MBA.​​

Customer Service Intern Specializes in Helping Traveler Experience


In June, Winnie Huang graduated from Franklin High School and will be attending University of Washington studying healthcare this coming fall.

With some help from College Access Now and research online, she came across an internship opportunity. As a full-time intern at the Port of Seattle working in customer service, on top of this she also works as a barista at Starbucks. 

“Trying to manage my time from working [at Sea-Tac] and at Starbucks is stressful,” Winnie said. “But at least I have something to do over the summer.”     

Winnie finds herself roaming the airport putting the needs of travelers first, from answering questions to directing people to checkpoints and gates, there is not one instance where she can take a break with an abundant number of travelers coming in and out of Sea-Tac. 

With the amount of walking she does, “I haven’t been this active in a long time. Not an athletic person at all, but I get my exercise.” 

Interns in customer service are placed at various stations throughout the airport cycling around from one station to the next again answering any questions or concerns travelers have.

 Winnie hopes to gain as much experience with the time given to her. She hopes to improve her communication skills and the ability to strike a conversation with anybody, “I hope to grow as a confident individual which would help me with future job opportunities.”​ 

From China to Sea-Tac, Intern for International Scheduling Soars Beyond Expectations​

For the Port of Seattle’s 2016 summer internship program one-third of the interns are college students.

Yi Chen,  22, is the Port of Seattle’s full-time Airline Scheduling Intern for 2016-2017. 

She is a senior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Dayton Beach, Florida. Chen is filling in for the Port of Seattle’s team former Airline Resource Specialist who had left on military leave in June.

Yi, who grew up in China, has a bachelor’s degree in air transportation from Nanjing University of Aeronautical and Astronautics (NUAA), China. She is in the United States enrolled as an international transfer student in Embry-Riddle’s “Sino-ERAU 3+1+1” graduate program while continuing her higher education with a Master of Science in Aeronautics. After moving from China to Florida for eight months, Yi had already found an internship across the country in Seattle.

She had first found out about the Port’s internship opportunities while scrolling through Facebook. She saw a post from a friend she had met at a “Women in Aviation” networking event who had just finished an internship with the Port working with Aviation Operation as a three-month summer intern. In the post, her friend had recommended others to apply for the Port’s internships saying it’s a great opportunity and the valuable experience she had with it. Yi clicked the link and applied for the position of airport duty manager.

A couple months after applying Yi had received a call in April from the Port on behalf of her application. There had been an interest in her application specifically about her experience in gate assignment and wanted to know if she would be interested in a different position instead.

  Originally applying for a three-month internship, Yi received a yearlong fulltime position as an Airline Scheduling intern. On the phone call they had explained that Tim Toerber, who held the position previously, was leaving in June and their rush to find someone qualified to fill his position starting as soon as May. 

Yi was hesitant to accept and wasn’t sure if it was going to work for her. As a transfer international student, she did not have the required paperwork and documents to obtain an internship. Also she would have had to take a break from school for one year while working for the airport. It looked like the odds were against her and that it was not going to happen.

“So I say ‘Oh I’m an international student I’m not sure if it’s going to work,’ Chen said.

 She knew if she took the opportunity that it was not guaranteed that she would pass all paperwork for a VISA and the necessary requirements for schooling. At the time, she still needed to finish the final procedures and presentation to receive her bachelor’s degree at NUAA and in order to complete her schooling at Embry-Riddle U she needed her degree. 

Despite the many complications she talked with her parents and they told her that it was a great opportunity and encouraged her to take the offer. She began working with her school in China, Embry-Riddle and Port of Seattle and all three collaborated in order to complete the procedures needed for Yi to have the internship.

All in a 20 day period, Yi flew back to her home country for a few days and completed paperwork, received her bachelor’s degree, traveled back to Florida and did even more paperwork, got her SEVIS and other immigration procedures completed, packed up all of her things and moved across the country to Seattle.

Since joining the Port of Seattle, Yi has been an important and major role at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. She deals with issues related with airline gates. Some of her responsibilities are to insert airline flight schedules, assign gates for aircrafts and alert airlines and maintenance when there is an issue with a gate.

Yi, who also speaks Mandarin Chinese, utilizes her skills and works with the Airline Service Department to greet and help with international passengers. Since starting her position, Yi has been able to attend Volaris’ ribbon cutting ceremony for their inaugural flight and a seminar hosted by Boeing where she was able to meet the CEO of Civil Aviation Administration in China who offered her to come back anytime to China for an internship.  ​

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Environmental Enthusiast Works With Nature in Mind

Originally a Business Management major, Brittany Maben found her niche in the business world by connecting her love for hiking and nature to a unique career path. “I’ve always had a love for the outdoors,” she says, “but it wasn’t until my first environmental studies class that I realized I could turn my passion into a career. Luckily Western [Washington University] has an amazing Business and Sustainability program that made the switch easy, and I never looked back.”

 Brittany always had a love for hiking, traveling, backpacking and nature, as the aviation environmental intern for the Port, her hobbies are aspects of her career. Brittany graduated with the class of 2016 majoring in business and sustainability and minoring in environmental studies at Western Washington University.

As a recent graduate, Maben was intimidated by the thought of going straight into a full time job so Brittany decided to look for internships to help her ease into the working world and narrow down possible career paths.

Brittany first found out about the Port of Seattle’s internship program while looking online and found an ad from Port. She searched through the available openings, found the aviation environmental position, read through the description and thought it was a perfect fit of what she was interested in and wanted to pursue.

Despite not having much experience with aviation, the environmental aspect intrigued Brittany enough to apply. Maben thought of the internship as an opportunity to learn more about aviation and how the environment it is intertwined with it.

As part of her 12-week internship, Brittany has helped with many environmental projects for the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. One of the major projects she completed was aiding the airport receive more credentials from Leadership in Energy Environmental Design, more commonly known as LEED, who is a  third-party organization of  environmental evaluators who assess designs, operations and construction of high-performance and energy efficient green buildings. 

Brittany helped make Sea-Tac and its North Satellite project more sustainable. She has also been a part of the decisions of new environmentally friendly and cost efficient hand dryers that will be used throughout the Sea-Tac’s bathrooms. The airport is also planning to purchase new seating for the terminals and she has to create the criteria that the new seating requires.

Brittany hopes with her current internship that she will be able to find a career path and get a better idea of a specific area of interest for environmental work she wants to pursue. Since the environmental field is broad, she hopes that her time with the Port will help narrow down her possibilities within her field of interest. 

Brittany has been able to receive a taste of each area with her internship. As a 12-week intern, Brittany likes working with the Port of Seattle and hopes to be able to stay longer.  Brittany has previously worked three other internships involving environmental work and “This has been my fourth internship and [it has] by far the best people, organizations and projects.”​​