Intern Spotlight: How Isabella Titus Adapted to the New Way of Living During the Pandemic

A rising Junior at Mission High School in San Francisco, Isabella Titus has learned quickly how to adapt to the “new normal.” Isabella was close to completing her Sophomore year at Mission High when the shelter-in-place order went into effect back on March 16th. Like many of us, changing her lifestyle and routine overnight was a challenge. “I had to finish my sophomore year of high school virtually, and I don’t feel like I learned as much as I would’ve in person.  I also unfortunately missed out on the end of my rock-climbing season and I have not physically seen most of my friends in months which has been tough.”

Rather than staying at home for the summer with school ending, Isabella took it upon herself to gain some real-life professional experience.  She heard about Project Pull through her stepfather and some of his co-workers at the SFPUC and was intrigued. The interns are provided the opportunity to choose career pathways this summer ranging from Communications to Engineering. Isabella decided to choose Communications as her focus. “I wanted to practice my overall communication skills, gain some professional work experience, and learn how larger city agencies operate.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Project Pull shifted from being a face-to-face experience to going virtual. This has presented some challenges for the interns, since many of them are meeting one another for the first time via online. “One of the challenges has been collaborating with teammates that I never met in person prior to starting the internship. Collaborating and working as a team is easier in person, however, we have found a way to be successful virtually.” During this time, Isabella has also made an effort to reach out to more of her family and friends to check in on them and see how they are handling these difficult times.  “A simple phone call or a text really does go a long way.” 

As the Project Pull Internship comes to an end, Isabella reflects on her experience over the past several weeks. “Despite the internship being virtual, I feel that I gained a lot of experience this summer. We have received valuable training on resume preparation and how to better prepare for an interview,” she said. “I’m really thankful to Project Pull and the SFPUC for providing all of the interns with this opportunity.”