Loic Engulu, 21, is a college student at San Jose State University and works as a lifeguard at the East Bay Regional Park District. The district operates six open-water lakefront beaches, three chlorinated lagoons, two pools, and two bay shoreline beaches.
Loic started lifeguarding for the Park District when he turned 17 in2007. Since then, he said, “I have returned every summer for the experience, the culture, and the variety of opportunities they offer.”
He explained that the training offered at EBRPD lasts 4 weekends and, upon successful completion, each lifeguard receives several Red CrossCertifications. The training, he said, is thorough and comprehensive, challenging him to greater heights. “The training tests our physical fitness and ability to make correct, educated split-second decisions in stressful situations. Over the course of my employment at East Bay, I have honed my ability to make critical decisions and learned how to be an effective leader.”
Loic gave thumbs up to his supervisors and fellow team members. “Our supervisors understand that people work best in diverse teams, and each team member brings something unique to the table. It really is a beautiful thing to walk day in and day out into a cohesive environment that is so supportive.”
Last year Loic was appointed to Assistant Head Lifeguard. “The sense off accomplishment that came with the title was one of the most exciting moments of my life,” he said. “It gave me a sense of confidence that has persisted even outside of work; I was part of something bigger than myself, and that felt really good.”
Quynh Truong was a student at SFSU when she found the listing for an internship with EBRPD in 2005. Truong’s major was business with an emphasis in human resources and her internship gave her a chance to jump right into HR work at the District.
“This was my first internship and it was an amazing experience,”Truong said. For the succession planning internship at EBRPD, she helped to rewrite a document on workforce diversity for the organization.
“I was an intern in the human resources division and I am now a human resources assistant.”
“It is such a great place to work,” she said. “I’m just so lucky that my first opportunity into the ‘real’ force has been such a positive experience.”
Racquel Martinez, a recreation major at Cal State University East Bay,found out about the East Bay Regional Park District internship through an email from the university’s Recreation Department.
Martinez worked at establishing community ties for the TidewaterAquatic Center on the Oakland shoreline where the community has access to the shoreline for water activities such as boating and fishing.
Martinez was surprised that many people living in the area were not aware of EBRPD or the various recreational activities it offers. “Youth are not as involved in recreation and the great outdoors as they could be,” Martinez said, because “being involved in recreation might not be something that is promoted” in their communities.
“I enjoyed working for East Bay Parks very much. It was definitely a very positive experience,” Martinez said. “I was placed in a role that I had never been in prior, so it was definitely a learning experience.”
After completing her internship in December 2010, Martinez was offered a seasonal position to continue her work at the TidewaterAquatic Center and within the community.
“I think it’s important for the community to learn about new recreation opportunities that are literally in their own backyard because there are some programs that are low or no cost [toparticipants],” Martinez said.
For more information about job opportunities and internships with East Bay Regional Park District, call (510) 544-2154 or go to www.ebparks.org/jobs.