September 05, 2017

Claudio: Building career aspirations at WS Development

Boston’s Seaport District has been under constant development over the last several years. The area is active with development companies creating a combination of residential, commercial, and public spaces. One such company is WS Development, where PIC student Claudio spent the summer working and learning about the dynamic world of operations.

Under the supervision of Bryan Smith, who manages operations for WS Development in the Seaport, Claudio had the opportunity to learn about the many pieces that go into property development. “It’s not just about construction—it’s about business, marketing, safety inspection, and so many other things. I’m learning about all of the different areas,” says Claudio.

One of the specific projects Bryan and Claudio focused on this summer was getting a retail garage open for public use, as well as the opening of two residential and retail buildings. “Claudio worked with me and the rest of the team on each phase of the development process. He’s gotten to see how we go from ground-up construction, to tenant coordination, to getting the space operational--everything from getting elevators working to ensuring the paint on the walls looked good, as well as signage and other marketing tasks,” says Bryan.

Claudio graduated from the Jeremiah E. Burke High School this June. He notes that working in the fast-paced environment at WS Development helped him grow accustomed to a full-time work schedule, bolstered his computer skills, and developed his organizational abilities. He’s also started to develop a professional network, which he believes will be helpful in the future.

“This summer, I met a lot of people—visiting the sites, going to meetings, and interacting with tenants. I think watching how people behave in meetings and how they present their ideas has helped me know how to act in different situations. When I want to get another internship next summer or a job in the future, I’m more prepared because of this experience.”

This summer isn’t Claudio’s first experience with employment through the PIC. When he moved to Boston from Cape Verde four years ago, Claudio worked with the PIC career specialist at his high school to secure a sponsored job at a youth center that summer. Claudio says working at the center helped him to improve his English and build his confidence enough to get a job working for Aramark at Fenway Park the following summer with help from his career specialist.

Claudio believes his previous jobs taught him good customer service skills and how to deal with conflict, preparing him to make the most of this summer. “Internships are important because they help you find out what you want to do in life. Working with Bryan, it was a lot about solving problems, and it’s important to learn how to do that because you’re going to be solving problems all of your life.”

Commercial development touches many different areas, offering a great opportunity to explore a wide range of career pathways. Entering the summer, Bryan knew he wanted to give Claudio the chance to dive in and learn as much as possible. “I know that this opportunity is a catalyst for the future, and I wanted Claudio to be thrown into a lot of different projects. He came in ready to roll and with a positive attitude, and it was really easy to fit him into the team,” he says.

Working at WS Development helped Claudio develop goals for his future. He always knew he wanted to go to college, and is starting at Bunker Hill Community College this fall. However, because of this internship, he now sees himself doing property management or building operations. “I like this type of work because you don’t just work in the office—you get to go out and interact with tenants and people from other companies. It’s really nice.”

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