Beyond the Bus blog logo

The Intern Experience at CATA

Monday, January 18, 2021

Categories: Blog, Employees

While meeting the mobility needs of our community is a main focus at CATA, we also aim to provide meaningful work experience to emerging young professionals. The CATA Marketing Department currently employs two interns who are gaining valuable work experience right here in our office, or remotely for the time being. 

Kate Vernier’s ExperienceKate Vernier

My name is Kate Vernier, and I’m a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Advertising Management. I’ve been an intern within CATA’s Marketing Department for almost one year. Throughout this internship, I’ve learned so many skills and gained professional experience that will benefit me in my future career. 

Both interns work on various projects and tasks, ranging from social media to working hands-on with community members. My favorite project so far has been helping to promote CATA’s Grab & Go Express. This free service allowed riders to travel through Downtown Lansing and Old Town, with stops within walking distance of over 50 businesses. Through this project, I was able to speak with many local business owners, witnessing firsthand how passionate they are about their work and the community. Experiences like this have helped build transferable skills that I’ll use in my future career. 

I’m also very active within MSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Community. I’ve been a member of Kappa Delta Sorority for almost four years, and have served on MSU’s Panhellenic Executive Board as Vice President of Community Relations and as Panhellenic President. 

Delaney PickettDelaney Pickett’s Experience

I am Delaney Pickett, a sophomore at Northern Michigan University studying Graphic Design. I have been interning at CATA for a few months now and have learned so much already. This internship has given me a chance to experience the marketing side of graphic design and work with some very talented people in this field.

One of my first projects was to create designs for information screens inside some of the CATA bus shelters. I also started designing graphics for CATA’s Instagram account. Social media was something I had never worked on before, but involved skills I was eager to develop. These assignments showed me how to analyze and project a company’s voice. Being a designer means being a communicator, and interning at CATA has strengthened my skills in both roles.

When I am not working on a project for CATA, I like to take advantage of the breathtaking views Marquette has to offer. Hiking and running on the trails of Northern Michigan often inspires my personal artwork.

Working at an Internship during COVID-19

As a safety precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic, CATA has Kate, Delaney and many administrative employees working remotely. But the value of their internships hasn’t been lost at all for Kate and Delaney. They meet frequently with members of the Marketing Department and have been given all the resources needed to continue to be successful in their positions.

Whether it comes to senior-level executives or young, ambitious interns, CATA strives to foster a collaborative and engaging workplace for all.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

7 Things to Do in Lansing this Winter

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

Lansing Capitol building with snow

One of the best ways to fight the winter blues? Explore local activities with family and friends! Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy Greater Lansing in the colder months:

1. Get up close to the biggest Christmas tree and ornaments in Lansing

People come from all over the state to see the 58-foot tree displayed in front of the Michigan Capitol building. It’s become a clear icon to the city, standing tall and proud. And for the first year ever, the state Christmas tree comes right from Lansing, thanks to two generous donors.

The red holiday ornaments are another crowd favorite. These giant picturesque sculptures are in the roundabout at Michigan Avenue and Washington Square, within walking distance from the Capitol. 

Save on parking and take the bus to these gorgeous decorations! Check out our trip planner to find the best route for you.

2. Experience the Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo.

Holiday lights, music, animal encounters and goodie bags make this event a real treat. Catch the Wonderland of Lights from Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 27.

Click here for details.

3. Support local artists at the REO Town Marketplace Holiday Bazaar.

Still have a few people on your holiday shopping list? The REO Town Marketplace presents a chance to shop for Michigan artisan-made goods. This fun new way to shop local is open now until December 24.

Click here to learn more.

Kids on tubes at the bottom of the snow hill

4. Hit the snow-covered slopes at Hawk Island.

As Hawk Island is less than a mile from CATA headquarters, this is one of our favorite wintertime activities. Bring your family, grab a few friends or go it alone on one of Hawk Island’s tube runs, ranging from 500-600 feet long. Then warm up at the snack bar with a cup of hot chocolate and s’mores.

Click here for snow tubing hours and pricing.

5. Challenge your inner learner at Impression 5 Science Center.

Impression 5 is an awesome place for kids of all ages to explore, learn and have fun! It was one of the first hands-on science museums in the country when it opened in 1972. Forty-eight years later, it remains a spot for the entire family to enjoy.

For hours and pricing, please visit impression5.org.

6. Shop small at the East Lansing Small Business Crawl.

Support local small businesses and earn points to win prizes during this year’s football-themed East Lansing Small Business Crawl! Players receive points by saving their receipts and submitting them on the Lansing Regional Chamber website. The more points earned, the more chances to win the grand prize of $1,000. The event is running from December 7-12. 

Learn more about the event here.

7. Treat yourself every Tuesday in Old Town Lansing.

Treat Tuesdays in Old Town are the perfect way to add some fun to your week. Each Tuesday, a different Old Town business will feature a “treat” which could be a sale, a giveaway, or other perks that make shopping local even greater. Treat Tuesdays will be going into 2021, so there are plenty of chances to explore local businesses in Old Town. 

See the full schedule for Treat Tuesdays here.

Brick Wall that says Love Lansing

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Collaboration Meets Innovation to Create a New CATA Bus Stop

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community, Employees

Collaboration and innovative ideas are part of what makes our team so special – especially when they’re least expected. 

Nick Zickefoose, a customer experience representative at CATA, saw a need in the community and set out to fulfill it. 

Using Teamwork and Customer Feedback to Turn an Idea into Reality

A CATA rider contacted Nick suggesting a new bus stop on Route 9 in front of Atlas Meds Pharmacy. “He told me about how a lot of elderly and disabled customers use that particular pharmacy, but they had to walk from the current Route 9 stops to get there – which isn’t always easy for someone depending on their situation,” Nick said. Before a new stop was in place, the walk to Atlas Meds Pharmacy was several blocks. 

“The addition of this stop made sense from a number of angles,” said Kai Christiansen, the CATA Service Planning and Scheduling Manager. 

Kai received an email from Nick with the new bus stop suggestion. “I didn’t want to just let [the] request go unheard as it sounded like it had the potential to help a lot of people,” Nick said. “I remembered being told early in my time at CATA about Kai Christiansen over in planning and he’s incredibly good with these sorts of things.”

CATA Customer Experience Representative Nick Zickefoose

 

Kai was pleasantly surprised when Nick reached out to him and immediately got to work. “The quality of the information which Nick provided to me made my work easy,” Kai said. He noted it was "clear and actionable, making this process very straightforward.”

How a New Bus Stop is Created

The creation of a new CATA bus stop involves communication with stakeholders and configuration to meet customer, property owner and municipal needs. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is also important. 

Once the stop has been designed, the building can begin. A contractor is methodically chosen, geolocation is added and a stop number is assigned.

The process to create a new bus stop involves CATA’s planning, facilities and procurement departments. It wouldn’t be possible without a strong and passionate team.

“It is always rewarding to be able to help facilitate the needs of our customers and create transportation solutions that make sense,” Kai said. 

The new stop on Route 9 is now up and running on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of Atlas Meds Pharmacy.

CATA bus stop #6081 in front of Atlas Meds Pharmacy

CATA’s priority continues to be meeting the mobility needs of our region. This priority is made possible in part through our dynamic, collaborative workforce. 

To learn more about Nick Zickefoose and the collaborative efforts of his department, click here.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
123456789

Theme picker

Subscribe to blog updates

Submit your Story

We need your help! Submit your story about a great ride, a driver that went above and beyond or just about how CATA helps you get around and you could be featured in a future blog post.

If you have a customer experience complaint, please contact us using this form or call 517-394-1000.