Center for Student Accessibility Spotlights Student’s Internship

December 15, 2011 | College of Staten Island

CSI student Joe Scarpulla is currently an intern at the MTA.

CSI senior Joe Scarpulla already has an impressive résumé, and the 22-year old Engineering Science major hasn’t even graduated yet. In the past couple of years, Scarpulla has worked for such large agencies as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and most recently the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York (MTA).

The MTA internship, a paid opportunity, began in July 2011, and Scarpulla continues to work at the agency on a part-time basis while he attends CSI as a full-time student. The student was first introduced to the internship through Mind Alliance, a special CUNY program for underserved students.

“It’s pretty interesting, and it’s definitely a valuable experience,” confirmed Scarpulla, adding that it is challenging to balance attending college in Staten Island and working in Manhattan.

At the MTA, Scarpulla works in Capital Program Management (CPM) in the Environmental Division where he has been involved with several large projects including a presentation on waste management and site visits to several subway stations. The stations were being studied for possible elevator installment to make them ADA compliant.

With all of this hands-on experience as well as guidance from several mentors, Scarpulla has learned a great deal about how the MTA operates. “I get to see how things are designed and built and really specifically about drafting and designing phases,” commented the student, who is considering pursuing a full-time job at the MTA.

Scarpulla’s first internship through the Mayor’s Disability Mentoring Day in 2009 led him to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Manhattan where he learned about design projects and day-to-day operations. In 2010, he was matched with The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, also in Manhattan, where he learned about recent Port Authority plans and met several staff members who “showed me the ropes.” During that same year, Scarpulla was also able to do a second day of interning back at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“These internships are great because they will help you decide if this is what you want do,” he said. “It gives you an idea of the kind of work involved in different fields and also gets your foot in the door.”

Scarpulla is also an active ALPHA Club member with a 3.0 grade point average.

The Center for Student Accessibility is a part of the Division of Student Affairs.

As part of the Center for Student Accessibility’s (CSA) “My Story” campaign, the Center will regularly highlight high-achieving students who have overcome challenges and exhibit student success, including academic advancement, co-curricular commitment, and pre-professional training.