The Internship Experience at the RTA

By Ariel Burkes

This summer the RTA welcomed nine Chicago Public High School interns as part of the CPS “Career and Technical Education (CTE) Rising Seniors in High School” program.  The six-week program gives high school students the chance to get a head start on preparing for college and careers. These students have the opportunity to gain real world experience through job shadows and internships.

The interns at the RTA worked in various departments ranging from Legal, IT, Engineering, Finance/Accounting and Social Services.

Ariel Burkes, a Marketing and Communications intern from Westinghouse High School, was kind enough to share her thoughts about her experience at the RTA and interviewed other interns about their experiences as well:

This summer I started my first ever internship at the RTA in Chicago! I was assigned to the Marketing and Communications Department where I met my supervisor Ms. Nicole Berry. She greeted me with open arms, showed me around the building and introduced me to some of her peers.

Throughout the program I was challenged to the max. I worked on copy and layout design elements for a transit-themed coloring sheet for kids. I was able to use my newly gained knowledge of the RTA’s mission and our transit system by helping answer questions at community outreach events each week. This program really helped me to get out of my comfort zone, learn how to work in a real world office environment and learn how important our public transportation system is to our region.

I asked a couple of the other interns questions about how they felt about their internship and here’s what they had to say:

“My experience at the RTA was like a train, always moving forward and getting me where I need to go. I’ve taken public transportation for three years and I have thought about it more in the past five weeks than I ever had in those those years.”— Jesse Mills

“Everyone who works at the RTA is so friendly and nice. You can really see how much they all go above and beyond to help each other out. They are really a team here!” – Daisy Morales

“I love the program! I love the coworkers who work here also! Everyone is friendly here. You never really see anyone upset here.” – Kobe Hill

“Throughout this program I learned the significance of transportation. I never really realized until now that I have been in this program how much others really depend on it.” – Zitlaly Villafuerte