City Internships Pave Career Pathways for Young Public Servants

Pipeline. Workforce development. Investing in the future. These are aspirations that seek to build avenues for young people to be an active part of their community now and in the future.

Over the last week and a half, over 170 high school and college students began or continued their professional journey with the City and County of San Francisco through Project Pull. Project Pull is a paid summer internship program for high school and college students that provides a mix of educational and vocational opportunities in a professional environment. Paired with City and County of San Francisco employees serving as mentors, the interns are able to gain insight into the public sector and the work it takes to keep the City running.

Meet Katherine Silva, an incoming Junior at the University of San Francisco. Silva previously completed two summer internships at SF Port through Project Pull, where she was assigned to the Payroll and Communications teams. Last week, Silva returned for her third year in the program, this time with the SFPUC in the Communications Division supporting events outreach and multi-cultural communications.

“I decided to apply again, because I have a continued interest to learn more about San Francisco, my home,” said Silva, who was born and raised in the City. “What better way than to learn from the inside and through the work that serves my community.”

Katherine Silva returns for a third internship through Project Pull and is assigned to the SFPUC this year.

Silva shared about how her internship experiences have opened her eyes to the different jobs and functional areas that are available in the public sector. “My college major is in marketing. Never would I have imagined that there are jobs focused on marketing, events or social media in the government,” she said.

While some interns are just starting off their journey in public service or returning for another year in Project Pull, several program alum also found their return to the SFPUC, but this time as part of the staff.

“From my previous internship at the SFPUC, I learned so much about working in an office environment, collaborating with coworkers across departments, and what public service means to me,” said Jennie Tran, a Project Pull alum. “Project Pull is an immersive learning experience that contributes to society for the better.”

Jennie Tran completed two internships through Project Pull and is now a member of SFPUC’s Communications team.

Tran had previously completed an internship with the SFPUC’s Community Benefits team and continued on with the Human Resources department the following year. Tran graduated college last year and recently joined the Communications Division in a part time role supporting the Agency’s internal communications and employee engagement.

Tran reflected, “Before Project Pull, I didn’t know much about public service or even about the SFPUC. Project Pull was an entryway into finding my path and my passion for giving back to my community.”