Student Shout-Out: Amanda Rivas’ First Published Article in Tube Times at SF Bicycle Coalition Internship
By: Jada Baca, Junior Communication Studies Major
There are many opportunities to obtain an internship in San Francisco, but getting hired is sometimes difficult. Amanda Rivas, a junior communication studies major, was one of the lucky students at the University of San Francisco to receive an internship with the SF Bicycle Coalition. Amanda also had the opportunity to publish an article in the “Tube Times” newsletter. I sat down with Amanda to further elaborate on her accomplishment and if it affected her career path.
Q: How did you find the internship with SF Bicycle Coalition, and what resources did you use?
Amanda Rivas: I heard about this internship through Casey Trujillo, our major assistant! He sent out information about the SF Bicycle Coalition Public Affairs internship, and I was hesitant about it at first but then thought, “what the heck?” and went for it. So, I was interning there from January to the end of May!
Amanda before her first day at her internship
Q: Where was your article published, and what was your article about?
Amanda Rivas: The SF Bicycle Coalition does a winter and spring newsletter called “The Tube Times,” which provides the latest updates for all the members, as well as individuals who are curious about what this organization does. The article that I was assigned to write about was really focusing on the advocacy that the organization had been pushing in Sacramento. A major goal that is hoped to achieve is Vision Zero, which is the hope of having zero traffic deaths by 2024, so my task was to highlight which measures were being done on the organization’s end to try and achieve that.
Q: Did you have any previous experience before this?
Amanda Rivas: I have been working as a front desk receptionist in the campus accounting office since my freshman year. However, this was my first internship experience. It was very different going from an office setting-a place that I’ve become very comfortable with-to an organization where I needed to prove myself again.
Q: Has this experience changed or help shaped your career path, and are you going to look for internships like this one in the future?
Amanda Rivas: I loved my time over at the Coalition. This internship taught me so much about real-world writing and real-time deadlines. I found a side of myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise. However, I think it taught me that this isn’t the path I want to go down, and that’s okay! It’s always great to go out of your comfort zone to give things a try and see what you’ll learn from it.
Q: Have you gained useful skills and experience that will help you discover which path you wish to pursue?
Amanda Rivas: I have gained a bunch of useful experiences from my time there. It’s different going from having a class deadline for an assignment. When you’re writing for an organization or a company you hit that deadline it goes into the editing room with five different people before it sees the light of day, and then e it’s out into the public. I learned what it was like to work on a team, especially in a nonprofit like this, where the grind is real. It was fun and interesting to see firsthand how projects are executed.
Q: Finally, did any of your college courses make this internship easier for you to work at, and have you seen how your college courses can translate to real world experiences?
Amanda Rivas: At the time, I was taking classes in qualitative methods, critical and rhetorical methods, and communication and everyday life. Truthfully, I think being in these classes definitely did help me at the time, whether it be on a project or just with interacting with others in the office. Being in the two methods courses while doing this internship kind of had my brain thinking in a different way, which I found to be useful when it came to writing weekly blurbs and editing the homepage sliders. Creativity but also sensitivity is important when it comes to writing these two things, and my methods courses already had me thinking in that type of way. So, learning how we communicate and why was really comforting and made me aware of my day-to-day interactions in the office.