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Internships at Metro Parks Tacoma

Our internship program aims to increase community and District engagement through meaningful experiences where people may participate in and help further mission critical programs and services.

This program supports the District’s mission by engaging students in becoming active contributors in our evolving society. Participating students will learn civic responsibility, leadership, and commitment to service as well as nurture an understanding of diversity in our community. The District will contribute to academic success by providing students with support services and experiential learning opportunities.

Metro Parks Tacoma aims to recruit top talent, and retain them by being an employer of choice and creating a positive working experience for all staff.

  • Internships are typically 10–12 week commitments made by persons interested in gaining career readiness experience as part of a course of study.
  • Internships include at least one major project that the intern has a significant level of responsibility to complete in addition to daily functions.
  • Interns must provide Metro Parks Tacoma with all the guidelines required by their educational institution.

About Internships

Types of Internships

The number, level and content of internships vary each year. Most internships are scheduled for part-time work during the school year and full-time in the summer.

Interns are students and recent graduates who participate in paid and non-paid opportunities to attain professional and/or industry experience while performing community service oriented projects.

Start dates vary by internship and will need to be discussed during the interview process. Deadlines for applications are indicated in the posting.

During Your Internship

Learning and development is an important component of internships at Metro Parks Tacoma. Feedback begins the first day and continues throughout the length of the internship. Mentors commit sufficient time to share their knowledge, teach skills and assist the intern in becoming part of the team. This is how your mentor will help:

  • Introduce interns to co-workers and key contacts within the District.
  • Utilize the “buddy system”. New interns can benefit from peer mentors who can show them the ropes and supplement formal training programs designed to accelerate their productivity and sense of belonging.
  • Facilitate performance expectations through feedback and a formal performance appraisal.
  • Provide shadowing time for interns to observe how managers manage time, people and resources.
  • Include interns in staff meetings and related professional activities when possible.

Internships roles of mentors

Development Starts from Day One

As interns walk in on their first day, it is important that they feel a sense of belonging and an understanding of the expectations for them at every level. Our onboarding provides benchmarks that help interns become fully engaged and productive members of the District. Here is what you can expect:


First two weeks of work

It is very important that interns be warmly welcomed and introduced throughout the District. An orientation provides the opportunity for:

  1. The employer to reinforce expectations
  2. The intern to ask questions
  3. The goals of the internship to be clearly established
  4. The process for problem solving during the period of the internship
  5. Review the company dress code and other policies.

Performance Management

Duration of term

During the term of work, supervisors will focus on the intern’s initial learning objectives identified at the start of the internship. Supervisors will take time to evaluate both the intern’s positive accomplishments and areas for improvement. Performance management includes:

  1.  Continued assessment of the work contributed
  2. A continuous feedback loop
  3. Further integration of intern into workplace culture
  4. Opportunity for professional development
  5. Ensuring the intern is an engaged and valued contributor


Last week of term

Off-boarding refers to the process of wrapping up work as the term of service ends. Off-boarding provides the opportunity to:

  1. Review intern’s performance
  2. Conduct an exit interview
  3. Complete educational and Metro Parks term requirements



High School Sports Interns

coaching internship

Interested in a Career in Sports?

Metro Parks Coaching and Sport Management Internship provides Tacoma high school students a pathway to entry-level sport and recreation employment opportunities across Tacoma.

Our Elementary Sports Coaching Internship provides Tacoma’s high school students a pathway to entry-level recreation opportunities across Tacoma.Students will develop on-field coaching and off-field sport management skills at one of Metro Parks’ Elementary Sports Program Sites while receiving class credit for the unpaid internship experience.

After completing the year-long (Sept-June) internship program, students are invited to interview for job opportunities with Metro Parks.

The ideal candidate for this internship opportunity is self-motivated, outgoing, organized and available one afternoon per week to coach practice (3:30-5pm) and Saturdays to coach games (10-2pm).

  • Internship focused on sport and recreation management.
  • Each intern will be assigned to one of the Elementary Sports sites for sports seasons running September to June.
  • Job duties including on-field coaching (multiple sports) and off-field administrative tasks (equipment inventory, input with planning award banquets, recruitment for upcoming seasons, etc.)
  • Ongoing training for athletic, social and emotional coaching/skill development.
  • 1 occupational education credit towards graduation through completion of Next Move Internship assignments (career research, resume, cover letter, interview prep, etc.)
  • Metro Parks job interview opportunities upon internship completion for summer camps, Elementary Sports game day officiating, etc.

Important Dates:

Soccer Coaches Training: Date, Location, TBD


Fill out an application Download a flyer


Please call (253) 305-1022


High School Aquatics Interns

aquatics internship

Interested in becoming a swim instructor and lifeguard?

Metro Parks Aquatics Internship provides Tacoma high school students a pathway to swim instructor and lifeguard employment opportunities across Tacoma.

Students will obtain swim instructor and lifeguard certification while developing customer service skills at one of Metro Parks’ aquatic facilities during this semester-long internship experience.

Trainings take place on weeknights and Saturdays, approximately 5 hours per week February – May.

Students will earn .5 occupational education credit towards graduation through completion of Next Move Internship assignments (career research, resume building, cover letter writing, professional interviewing, among others).

After completing the program students obtain class credit and are invited to apply for job opportunities with Metro Parks.

Aquatics Internship Important Dates
Date are TBD

Internship Program Orientation
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
6:30-8:30 pm
Eastside Community Center Pool

Attendance is required to participate in the internship program. Please bring suit and towel.


Fill out an application Download a flyer


Please call (253) 305-1022

Fort Nisqually Internships

Internship Program – Fort Nisqually

Internships are available for college students that have completed at least two years of coursework or college graduates seeking on-the-job experience

Selected interns must commit to at least 120 hours over 12 weeks, All positions are unpaid with no housing provided. However, staff may be able to assist hired interns explore housing options.

Interns are accepted each academic quarter and summer.
Internship Opportunities

  • Living History/Education
  • Curatorial
  • Living History Clothing
  • Events and Volunteer Assistant

How to Apply
Please visit the Metro Parks Tacoma careers website for position descriptions and to begin the application process.

If you have questions, or need more information than what is included in the position descriptions, you may contact