Every summer, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and other City Agencies within the public sector mentor interns from a program called Project Pull. Project Pull is designed to offer motivated and hard-working students enriching internship experiences across various disciplines.
A key staple of the Project Pull experience is its emphasis on making connections, both within the workplace and in the outside world. As an intern at Project Pull, one has the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of people. These connections make the Project Pull experience truly meaningful. During the final few weeks of the program, we wanted to understand how the other interns reflected on their time at Project Pull. We challenged them to think about how they grew professionally, as well as the new things they learned.
Alex Temov was an intern at the SFPUC interested in pursuing a career in Environmental Science. She discussed what she gained from this experience as a third-year returnee. “Working at Project Pull over the past few years has helped me gain a lot of practical in-office experience. I’ve learned what it means to actually work a real job, and have picked up many useful tech, public-speaking, research, and communication skills.” Temov notes that in addition to these helpful skills, she has also bonded with fellow interns over team-building activities and projects like the annual debate.
Temov reflects on the things she’d do differently in the future and states that though she generally really enjoyed her time at Project Pull in the Environmental Science pathway, she would also like to continue her time in this program by, “branching out into communications and engineering to gain a broader experience.” Project Pull offers a range of fulfilling positions within different career paths, and Temov remarks that she’d like to take full advantage of the program’s depth.
When asked to really hone in on how the connections she’s made have shaped her, Temov highlights that she has been able to form many long-lasting friendships with fellow interns and bonds with mentors. She explains how she has now built many professional connections that will support her when she applies to future jobs.
Another intern, Jude Howery, was placed at the SFPUC in the Wastewater Enterprise. Out of the entire Project Pull experience, he states that he was most grateful for the connections he’s made with his supervisors at the office and his fellow interns at Project Pull. “On top of this, the internship has brought me more work experience and I have gained a lot of insight into the intricate workings of City infrastructure and sustenance,” Howery added.
Howery conducted numerous water inspections in establishments throughout the City. “My favorite part of this experience was the inspections I was allowed to accompany and even occasionally lead. I got to explore the City that I have not lived in for very long and meet various great people.” He realized that, although he enjoyed accompanying and taking charge of the excursions, what he cherished most were his encounters with the San Francisco residents he met along the way.
Alex Temov and Jude Howery are just some of the many interns who have emphasized the vital workplace skills and critical connections they made through the program. Both Temov and Howery recognize that not only were they able to form close connections, but also acquire an elevated understanding of what it means to be a City worker. Project Pull continues to provide the first steps one must take in order to transition into a career field while offering interns the opportunity to better understand both themselves and the ever-changing world around them.