From Internships

Summer Internship Interview

On May 30, the sophomores and juniors of the Vessel Ops program took an interview for a CTE summer internship involving working on the water at the MAST center. This internship would involve working on the docks or underway on a boat. While were underway we will capture more experiences and learn more tools, helping us become more equipped for the future. We get paid $11 or more an hour, 25 hours a week, for 6 weeks. I plan on using the money to save for college tuition in 2 years. I look forward to this internship, learning new methods of functioning on the water, and exploring new waters.

My First Marine Internship Interview

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When I first sat down with Internship Coordinator Estefany Carmona, I was very nervous but I felt quiet prepared. I knew I was very hard working and I felt this job was meant to be mine. I gathered all the information nesscessary and I felt as if nothing could go wrong. When I finally met with her, I was asked questions that I never thought were gonna mean something to someone. She asked me about what I do in my classroom and what I took away from it. I wish I had prepared for her questions ahead of time. For example, she asked me what was a strength and a weakness of mine. I felt as if my interview went really well and it couldn’t have gone any better.

BUSY!

April 28th: Journal Entry #3

The ticket booth has become more than just printing out tickets and giving them out. I’ve noticed many barriers faced when working in customer service. One major barrier is language, it’s very hard to explain what vessel people need to be on and when to board if you only speak English. There is one coworker of mine who speaks both English and Spanish but it can still be hard when someone speaks French or Mandarin for example. When I’m faced with this task I tend to give them their tickets and explain to them where they need to be as best as I can with my hands. If all else fails, I walk them to their vessel so that they can board and enjoy their cruise.

May 5th: Journal Entry #4

We recently had a Spring Boat Show, where people boarded our vessels for a dinner cruise which was followed by food and numerous activities for the guests. The ticket booth was very busy because we had three vessels going out around the same time. We had to juggle giving tickets out to guests, telling our customers where they are boarding, and differentiating who was there for the boat show or for a regular dinner. We were able to manage all of this with everyone’s help and patience.

Citywide Ferry Service

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Last Monday, when we had no school, all the vessel ops students were invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Citywide Ferry Service. You might be wondering what Citywide Ferry Service is; it is a new ferry service that will provide a new mode of transportation for New Yorkers starting the Summer of 2017. The cost for riding the Ferry will be the same as a metro card swipe. It’ll open up our waterfront for anyone in the city, simultaneously raising awareness for the environment.

The New York Harbor School was invited to attend the ceremony. Students from the sophomore, junior, and senior years came to this important ceremony. Many Harbor alumni who are still involved in the waterfront attended as well. By this time next year, we will have harbor kids in internships on those ferries.

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My First Week on the Internship

April 7th: Journal Entry #1

        As we enter the work field in a maritime based internship we’re put into the real world. Everyone is excited to be given an opportunity to learn new skills or better those we already possess. I was assigned to work in the Entertainment Cruises ticket booth which both me and my peers are a little nervous. We’re learning skills in customer service which is something I personally have very little experience in. Learning this new skill is something I am looking forward to doing.

April 21st: Journal Entry #2

             As we entered out training we have discussed numerous roles we will be playing within our internship. We will being learning the computer program, how to print and give out tickets, how to make phone calls, and other skills that come with the internship. My biggest struggle so far is learning the reservation system. My solution for this is writing step by step notes. Hopefully as I become more familiar with the program, I will better understand how to make reservations.

Waterfront Alliance Internship

I’ve been interning with Waterfront Alliance for the past month. Their main goal is to open up the waterfront to people all over New York City. My specific project is writing and organizing middle school field trips in Northern Manhattan. There are a lot of different parts of the work: writing the lesson plan, choosing the sites, researching equipment, etc. I’ve included some of the journal entries I’ve written for my internship:

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AIM at the Coast Guard

Seal_of_the_United_States_Coast_Guard.svgThe United States Coast Guard Academy offers a summer program called AIM (Academy Introduction Mission) to rising seniors in high school. I’ve been interested in the Academy for about 3-years now so when I heard of this opportunity I had to apply. The program would mean six days on campus during the summer and would teach me the academy’s traditions and lifestyle. Hopefully, it will help me decide whether or not the Academy is the right place for me. I began my application in the beginning of February and submitted it on March 31st. I should hear back on whether I’m accepted or not on May 1st.

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My Internship on Surprise

I wrote this about my internship over the summer. The piece was originally intended as a college essay but I ended up choosing a different topic.

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I swiped the damp towel back and forth on the deck, just enough that the dried rust and mud from the anchor chain would cling to it, but not enough to make the white boat as pristine as it should be. We needed the boat to be impeccable by the time the charter guests returned from their early dinner. Erik the first mate was picking them up on the inflatable and Leah the captain was making their beds below deck.

I heard the little boat coming before I saw it. The outboard motor’s hacking coughs echoed across the still water. I dropped the towel into the aft cabin and threw on my crew shirt to look professional. I helped the little girl up onto the boat first. She must have been about ten and had a great vendetta against her younger brother, evident by her dislike of having close proximity to him. Once they were all aboard, Leah suggested the family go out for a swim before it got dark.  The little girl, Charlotte, rushed to put on her polka dot swimsuit. I stood awkwardly by, wondering if I should get their towels or wait until they were done swimming to lay them out. I had almost decided to ask Leah when Charlotte ran up to me, a little out of breath, and said, “Swim with me! Please?” and tugged at my hand.

That’s not how it was supposed to work. Our other guests had politely asked my opinions and expected me to keep the drinks flowing. A week earlier, we had a family from the Upper East Side. The teenage girls had been passive and uninterested in me unless I was making them iced coffee or bringing out food. They didn’t care who was steering the boat—that is, until they heard my age. They were sprawled out on the deck, sunbathing, while their parents made small talk with Leah. I was carefully bringing the boat along the strait when Leah handed the conversation over to me, mentioning that I was a rising junior in a maritime high school.

I could see their faces freeze, their eyes widen. I could see the realization roll over them. I wasn’t significant to them, but now they knew that I could’ve been. I could’ve been their best friend or, in a different reality, I could have been the one lazily sipping juice that they had fetched for me.

The shock on their faces only lasted a second, but it dented the power dynamic on the boat. They became wary of ordering me around.

I knew this Brooklyn family was different. I knew this charter was more lax than the others. I also knew we weren’t supposed to swim unless one of the drunk passengers jumped off and started drowning.

“Please?” Charlotte repeated. She wasn’t a drowning drunk passenger but I still looked at Leah for the final verdict. She nodded.

“Okay, just let me go put on my bathing suit.”

When I emerged from the aft cabin I felt naked. It was one thing to wear a bikini in front of Erik and Leah, but these were the clients. What if they disapproved of me spending time with their kids? What if they hadn’t realized I could wear anything but khaki shorts and the navy blue crew shirt—like finding out your teacher’s first name? Charlotte was waiting impatiently at the bow of the boat. When she saw me she didn’t blink an eye, just held out her hand. She didn’t see the divide between us. She didn’t see that I was trying to be professional, that I had been hired to be professional, that there were rules and class divisions and a power dynamic. So I took her hand.

She pulled me out onto the bowsprit and, clutching my hand, jumped into the bay.

Half an hour later, we climbed up the rudder on to the boat for the last time. The sun was setting and the orange and pink streaks in the sky made up for the goosebumps that covered every inch of my skin. We all lay out on the deck, talking and laughing about nothing until the last of the color had faded from the sky.

I put my shirt and khaki shorts back on and hung up all the wet garments. I set out some fake candles and a couple cookies for the kids to have before going to bed. Then I retreated into the cluttered aft cabin, which held all the facts you don’t want to see—the dirty towels and cleaning supplies.

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