Blake first heard about Port of Seattle internships when his former boss reached out to him to share information on the program. “I applied for the Risk Management position because it was a new field for me. I hadn’t thought of it before, and I knew it would be a learning experience and even a potential career path,” Blake said.
As a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance, risk management was related to his major but was not a common career choice. His main role was to help the Port minimize adverse impacts on employees, assets, operations, and customers. One example is when he led a presentation on Washington’s recent DUI-E Law.
“One of the biggest things I took away from the internship is how to effectively approach a new project: starting with a very broad list of outcome goals, and then working backwards to narrow my focus down to the most specific details. In my own research, I had to provide details, communicate with stakeholders, and continuously revise the original plan. All this practice helped me perform better at my job.”
When asked if the internship lived up to his expectations, Blake said, “Before starting the internship, I was hoping to get more exposure working in a professional setting. I wanted to sharpen my communication skills, network with other leaders, and above all I wanted to add value to the organization. All of those were certainly fulfilled at the Port of Seattle.”
Blake grew up in Seattle, but relocated to Canada to enroll at the University of British Columbia. In the fall, Blake will continue his last year in college before moving back to Seattle. “After college, I want to pursue a career working in finance, particularly a field that involves helping and interacting with people. I don’t want to just work at a desk crunching numbers all day — social interaction is important to me too. In the long term, I hope to stay in Seattle, but it would be unwise to limit myself. I’m open to whatever comes next.”