Many people who work at Metro Transit take on new responsibilities and roles throughout their careers. Career Tracks highlights the paths employees have taken to their latest assignment and where they see themselves going next. To learn more about career opportunities at Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council, visit metrocouncil.org/Employment.
How did you begin your career with Metro Transit?
I started as a Part-Time Bus Operator at Heywood in 2010. I knew Metro Transit was a great place for guaranteed pay and hours. Just prior to starting here, I worked two customer service jobs, and based on their scheduling, my final paychecks combined totaled to $53. When I received my first check for operator training, I was motivated to succeed! I went from barely surviving paycheck-to-paycheck to being a homeowner in a matter of two years.
What were your career goals and what steps did you take to achieve them?
When I started as a 21-year-old, I viewed it as a 5-year plan to pay off student loans. With time, I realized this can be more than a 5-year plan, so I applied for other opportunities. However, my applications were turned down due to lack of education/experience. So, I went back to school for a City Planning/Transportation Planning degree. I applied and earned a job as an Administrative Assistant of Maintenance at East Metro. Today, I’m taking advantage of our On-the-Job Experience (OJE) Program and serving as an Assistant Transportation Manager at South Garage. I’m also taking Learning and Development (LOD) courses. While this position is temporary, I plan to apply to be an ATM when a permanent position opens.
What advice do you have for others who want to take on more or different responsibilities?
If you find yourself wanting to take on more responsibilities, do not allow your current situations to hold you back from trying! Personally, I found myself succeeding more in career opportunities when I started approaching new changes with enthusiasm and an open mind. I started viewing obstacles as opportunities. If a lack of formal education is holding you back, there are creative ways around it. As an employee, you can enhance your soft skills and learn with Met Council’s Learning and Organizational Development Program. ATU members, take advantage when OJE becomes available! Additionally, there are affordable, external certification programs online that allow you to work at your own pace, too.
Fast track your way to a new full-time career. No experience in bus operations is required and training is paid. Bus operators receive outstanding benefits like health care, annual salary increases, a pension plan, and an unlimited-ride transit pass. And, as many Metro Transit managers start their careers as operators, there's also room for growth.