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Jamaica Express

Internship Advice

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Hey guys, I just was looking for a little advice.

I was interning with NJT's Rail Operations Department during Summer & Fall,it went really well and they wanted me to stay, however I had to return to school in Florida for Spring. I got an offer to intern with Miami-Dade Transit's Planning Department, however, its mostly dealing with Buses (not that I have anything against buses, but Im pretty sure I prefer working with trains). Their MetroRail system is just a single 22-mile line with 22 stations, that runs on a pretty much fixed schedule, so theres not much to do when it comes to schedule changes or long term planning, since there are no expansions underway. Im honestly, not that interested, because I know when I graduate I want to work in service/operations planning for either a commuter rail or subway network. Plus Im taking 18 credits this semester (six classes) and they want 20 hours a week(non-paid). I also have plans to go home for the summer and either return to NJT or try to get in with the NYCTA/LIRR/MNRR. My question is, being that I only have 6-months of experience under my belt with NJT, should I just take the MDT internship? (even tho I have no plans of having a career with that company) or should I wait until the summer, to continue building experience with companies I want a career with? (NYCTA/MNRR/LIRR OR NJT)

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One question you should ask yourself: Is the NJT gig a sure thing? You obviously gave them a good impression, however that doesn't necessarily guarantee an in with NJT for the summer.

 

Id take the Miami-Dade internship, and still apply for NJT for the Summer. Its always a good idea to get as much variety of experience while you still can. Plus if/when NJT sees that, it makes you look like a better candidate for more permanent positions (NJT rep: Okay, he's a train dude, but he also has experience with buses and light rail. Thats some nice flexibility.)

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One question you should ask yourself: Is the NJT gig a sure thing? You obviously gave them a good impression, however that doesn't necessarily guarantee an in with NJT for the summer.

 

Id take the Miami-Dade internship, and still apply for NJT for the Summer. Its always a good idea to get as much variety of experience while you still can. Plus if/when NJT sees that, it makes you look like a better candidate for more permanent positions (NJT rep: Okay, he's a train dude, but he also has experience with buses and light rail. Thats some nice flexibility.)

 

Well they were the ones who told me to come back for the summer, and I'm still in contact with them, so it should be ok for me to return if I'd want to.

 

My only issue with MDT is, Im not sure if I will be able to do the 20 hrs a week, with my class schedule. They also want me to do a physical at a hospital thats farrr from their HQ as well as my school, I have no car...and idk if a $100 cab ride (round trip) is worth it...is it?.

 

I kno by the time I graduate I'd like to have 2 rail systems on my resume and/or a rail consulting firm.I was banking on the LIRR/MNRR or NYCTA as the 2nd one. Or perhaps a consulting firm like LTK or Systra.

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If theyre not paying you then a physical isnt worth it regardless of the distance, but thats IMO.

 

As for the scheduling, your education is top priority. If you think your grades are going to slip due to the internship, then I would advise not taking it.

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Thanks, yea I don't think its worth it either. NJT didn't give me a physical, I just had to get a shot, and they wanted to make sure my medical info was up to date. These MDT people here want me to jump through hoops...

 

I really really really hope I can get in with one of the MTA rail systems this summer....from the job openings I've seen in OP departments for rail systems everywhere in the US, they definitely seem to emphasize experience over degree. Like, of course you have to have a degree, but your experience counts more, as in you can't really major in Train Service Management...I wish that was a major.

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Thanks, yea I don't think its worth it either. NJT didn't give me a physical, I just had to get a shot, and they wanted to make sure my medical info was up to date. These MDT people here want me to jump through hoops...

 

I really really really hope I can get in with one of the MTA rail systems this summer....from the job openings I've seen in OP departments for rail systems everywhere in the US, they definitely seem to emphasize experience over degree. Like, of course you have to have a degree, but your experience counts more, as in you can't really major in Train Service Management...I wish that was a major.

 

Most people in NYCT's OP Dept have masters degrees. And yes, there are schools where you can major in Transportation Engineering, management, or urban panning, those are all good programs to go into if you're interested in rail networks, systems, and service planning. Of course, experience looks great as well, I would recommend you apply to an intern or college aid position at NYCT OP, there are some good opportunities there.

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