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Spotlight: College Intern Gavin McPhail

Meet Gavin McPhail, college intern for Construction Safety, who helps ensure safety plans are up to date at many sites around a growing Port

College intern Gavin grew up in Blaine, Washington, just south of the Canadian border. From a young age, Gavin had an interest in building things. “Once I rebuilt a car with my grandpa,” Gavin recalled. “I like designing things and seeing things from the ground up.“

Gavin first heard about Port of Seattle internship program from a friend, who himself was a former high school intern at the Port. Gavin instantly recognized the amazing opportunity: “When I was listening to my friend describe all that he did in the internship, I realized all the different opportunities that could come from it. I knew I had to apply.”

After a competitive application process, Gavin was selected as the college construction safety intern. “I wanted to do construction safety because it gave me more of a construction base, which is something that is good to have when [pursuing a career in] Civil Engineering.”

As an intern, Gavin has had the opportunity to travel to different Port-owned sites and review the safety plans. This has helped Gavin build his attention to detail. “I have to be on the lookout for a lot of things,” Gavin said. “You have to see if there are any violations that the contractors are doing, and make sure that everyone is safe.”

Gavin has also been able to branch out and write his own safety orientation for Port employees.  “A lot of people that I am orienting have been in construction for 20-30 years, so they already know what they are doing. It was a daunting task, but my favorite task.”

Gavin will be entering his second year at the University of Washington, majoring in Civil Engineering.  “I want to intern with the Port again.” Gavin said “They really value what I bring to the table.”

Published Date
Sep 19, 2018

The Port of Seattle is an equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V and is committed to diversity in the workplace.

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