PSTA participates in a summer youth internship program in partnership with the Boley Center and the City of St. Petersburg. This year, we have the pleasure of having four interns. Two of these interns are assigned to the Marketing Department, and we’ve kept them hopping. In this guest blog post, intern Byron Boykins tells us about his experience:My name is Byron Boykins and I am currently a summer intern at PSTA along with Juliana Rico, Brandon Fletcher, and Keith Buxton. While interning in the Marketing Department at PSTA, I’ve experienced a lot of things that I would like to tell you about. First, I would like to speak on Greenlight Pinellas, a community conversation that involves improving the transit system in Pinellas County. As marketing interns, Juliana and I are informing PSTA riders, non-riders, the PSTA staff, and the community about the future plans that can benefit everyone in Pinellas County. I believe that Greenlight Pinellas is important for our community because the bus system is a secondary transportation option for those who may have a car, like me. If the transit system was improved with the Greenlight future plans, I would personally take the tag off my car, cancel my insurance, and use the bus as my full means of transportation. Juliana and I have been involved with the Greenlight Pinellas outreach in a major way. We have gone out in the community to events and PSTA transfer centers to inform the public what the conversation is all about. Juliana says “It’s fun educating people about Greenlight Pinellas. Knowing that people care about what we have to say makes it all worthwhile. I am glad that my work is making a difference.” While informing the public we used grass-roots marketing tactics to get the conversation started quickly. We used Greenlight giveaway items such as pens, pins, magnets, glow sticks, business cards, and post cards to leave our riders or non-riders with something to further investigate Greenlight Pinellas. We made getting informed about the new transit plan fun and interesting to the community. The Marketing Department developed a game called The Wheel of the Future, which people can spin and gives an opportunity to gain knowledge and win prizes while being informed.
Interns Brandon and Keith have spent the summer working in the Human Resources and DART departments. Brandon says “Working in HR has been great. I’ve learned how to file papers and handle tasks within an office environment that will be helpful later on when other opportunities come.” Keith says “My time here at PSTA has been one to remember. For a first job, the environment, people and atmosphere have all been amazing. I have done a number of tasks to help move along business: organizing paperwork, files, mailing, faxing information to customers, making and answering phone calls, etc. As soon as I started they made me feel a part of the work family.”
While interning at PSTA myself, I have gained a lot of skills that I feel that will benefit me in the future. I’ve learned many things such as marketing tactics, office assistant skills, how to communicate with organizations through phone and email, and most importantly how to push a conversation out to the community. I have had the opportunity to take pictures for events and be a part of the PSTA family through company events and staff meetings. The most important thing that I’ve learned about public transportation is that you never know how important it is until a customer says, “Without the bus I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere – it is my only means of transportation.” I hope the plans for Greenlight Pinellas plans go into effect so it can make Pinellas County less congested on our roads and give us citizens a first choice of transportation within the county.
~Byron Boykins, PSTA Marketing Department Summer Intern