Jayla Rhodes, COL ’24, Atlanta, GA
This summer, I had the opportunity to work in Washington, DC with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, commonly known as Metro, in their office of Infrastructure. In my two months there, I had the wonderful opportunity to work on their Rail Station Modernization and Platforms team on two lighting projects, looking to update lighting across the system to increase safety and energy efficiency.
Given I hadn’t had much experience in the transit industry, this summer was a wonderful opportunity to learn about how transit intersected with my interests in architecture, urban planning, and sustainability, all while exploring a new city. WMATA, through their bus and rail operations, serves an important role as a connector through DMV, providing many residents connection to their jobs and vital resources. Therefore, being able to contribute to the safety and efficiency of the system was extremely meaningful to me with my personal interests in public service and city planning. Outside of the work on my team, Infrastructure interns explored multiple site visits and career conversations exposing us to many different sides of the larger authority, and I felt extremely grateful to see what this company had to offer.
Adjusting to my first in-person opportunity after the peak of the pandemic was a bit challenging at first, and I had a much longer commute than I originally expected that required me to take the bus out of Georgetown every day to Foggy Bottom Station, where I rode the Orange Line train to my office at the end of the line. However, I felt this time each day gave me a chance to reflect on what I wanted to gain from the experience, and I felt happy to explore the city and challenge myself with such a new routine.
This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.