Metro Parks Tacoma values a diverse workforce and seeks ways to promote equity and inclusion within the organization and our community.

About Internships

  • Our Program
  • Types of Internships
  • During Your Internship

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.

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.

The student is responsible for contacting their academic department/advisor to determine whether the internship is eligible for credit. The requirements vary according to academic department, this information should be gathered before intern’s acceptance.

Each internship experience is unique and many times the choice to pay or not to pay is determined by the department or program. Some departments will offer to pay an hourly rate while others will provide a “one-time” stipend. The important thing to remember is that while an internship may not be paid, it is still one of, if not the best way for college students to gain real-world experience.

There are a variety of internship options available to students, allowing them to cater their experience to their own schedule. Part-time internships typically require students to be present between 15-25 hours a week. Part-time internships tend to be advantageous for students who are already working a part-time job, or are enrolled as full-time students. We understand that student interns have busy and non-traditional schedules, so we are very flexible in terms of making adjustments to internship schedules during the week of mid-terms, finals or vacations/holidays.

Length of Internship
Typically, the length of an internship is one semester. However, the length of an internship can vary based on your needs, whether the internship is being offered on a for-credit or not-for credit basis, and/or the discipline.

Internships 1

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