The City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation has relaunched its internship program for high school and college students. The program is led by Director of Workforce Development Chevelle Harrison. Since recently joining the PHL team, Harrison has worked to develop a program which she believes will benefit the interns the airport hires and the units that will be utilizing them.
With the relaunch this April, each participating unit was directed to create real-life work objectives for the interns to execute and to guide and mentor our young interns. When she began planning, Harrison set a goal to hire 21 students, (high school juniors and seniors, and college students). She is happy to say that she quickly exceeded her goal. When asked if she’ll try to place the any additional students who apply before the May 19 deadline, she answered, “We will do our best to place them or refer them to our partners at the airport and beyond. We can also refer many of them to Philadelphia’s WorkReady Internship Program, which is still in search of interns to work as lifeguards and to fill other departmental slots.”
Harrison is determined to match new interns to the units which will foster interest in the multitude of departments and fields that keep the airports at peak performance every day. “We hope that by exposing young people to careers in aviation and by having the students work on meaningful projects, we will accomplish several objectives: demonstrating how interconnected units are and how important each player’s role is in relation to overall organizational objectives,” she said.
While updating the program, Harrison polled the units’ requesting interns to have them justify why they believed they need an intern. The poll included a written description on how the student assigned to the unit would be utilized. This is not a job for “coffee runners”, interns will be disappointed if they come to PHL expecting easy days at work. The students will be paid for the time spent here, so that vital time will be spent building new skills and sharpening others.
As in most industries, many don’t realize what’s happening behind the scenes- how administrative staff, ground, and food services (to name a few departments) work hand in hand. We will show our interns how important each discipline is in aviation and how we work together as a team to be an award-winning airport.
The summer interns will be assigned to the following units at PHL:
- Disadvantage Business Enterprise
- Human Resources
- Training & Development
- Government Affairs
- Community Engagement
- Cargo, Guest Experience
- Information Security
- Capital Development
Interns will be assigned various areas within the airport where they will be supported by a team who endeavors to produce a good program for the participants and for PHL.
Applications will be accepted online until May 19
Duration: Full-time college internships; high school summer internships are typically 20 hours per week on average. Hybrid and/or in-person work schedules.
What to Expect:
- Real-World experience (up to one year).
- Develop professional connections.
- Expand your transferrable skills.
- Exposure to the aviation industry.
- Learn about and contribute to city government.
- Boost your resume.
Said Harrison, “My unwavering belief is that ‘knowledge is power’,; and exposure to information provides an opportunity to improve one's situation. My goal for the internship program is to reach people before they decide on a career or a place of employment by way of working at the airport and planting seeds for the future.”