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How do I apply and what can I expect from a summer at the Sunset Bay Wharf

If you are already familiar with our operations and wish to apply for a summer position or beyond please follow this link to our online application:

Please send us an email here to let us know your application has been submitted:

We will get back to you promptly to schedule a call or gather additional information.

Summer at the Wharf

The Sunset Bay Wharf’s summer program consists of two training weeks and 8 one week long student sessions with Sunset Bay teaching assistants assigned to lead a specific group of students each week. Like any manager within an organization, Sunset Bay educators instruct, lead, and motivate their group of students to accomplish a wide variety of tasks during the week.  And exactly like any modern organization manager, your leadership is accomplished through fun and motivation rather than bossing or intimidation.  What is most unlike typical management training jobs, is that our leaders get a fresh start each week with a new group of students to try out new things and work toward finding your leadership voice. In this way, our 10 week summer program provides leadership development opportunities equal to many years or many jobs in a typical organization.

For those passionate about leadership development and the great outdoors, there is simply no more valuable and rewarding way to spend a college undergrad summer than at the Sunset Bay Wharf.  

I'm headed to Grad School, what can the Sunset Bay Wharf do for me?

For graduating seniors considering grad school or taking time off to build their resume before applying, we have off season opportunities which include room and board accommodations in modern waterfront apartments in exchange for outreach duties which consist primarily of marine mammal presentations at local schools. Our off season program makes it possible for grad students to pursue graduate studies while incurring a minimum of additional debt, and also serves as an incubator for recent grads wanting to try out Seattle or build up their resume with teaching and non-profit experience prior to applying.


I'm a Graduating Senior, are there Career Opportunities for me?

Yes! The Sunset Bay Wharf is a fast growing organization with student enrollment increasing by approximately 20% a year. We have new career positions available every year for graduating seniors with a passion for teaching and empowering the next generation.

I'm not sure what I want to do next, how can Sunset Bay help me?

The mission of the Sunset Bay Wharf is two-fold. To educate and empower area youth with marine science and outdoor education life skills. And, to educate and empower our staff with career opportunities here, or helping them work their way into exciting opportunities elsewhere in the education and organization management fields.

There is simply no better way of developing the type of soft skills necessary for success in your first career position after graduation job, than spending a summer here honing your leadership and organizational skills.

It goes without saying that you can accomplish a lot more with a team or organization behind you than you can by yourself. However, it’s a lot harder to work successfully within an organization because it requires special “soft skills” that take time and opportunity to develop.

The three main soft skills for getting along and advancing within organizations are “managing up” (dealing with your boss or bosses), “managing down” (dealing with your subordinates), and “managing across” (dealing with your peers in the organization).  All three take real world practice to develop. There’s no book that can do it for you, and there is no one single way to be. Everyone needs to find their own voice, and the Sunset Bay MMA program offers a unique opportunity for college students to practice these soft skills and develop the confidence to find their own unique leadership voice.

As mentioned above there is simply no better opportunity for college students to develop their leadership voice. The ability to star afresh each week leading a new group and while perfecting your leadership style condenses literally years worth of management training experience into a 10 week summer.

Our program also provides great experience in “managing across”.  Being able to work a large number of different staff members and different staff members each week, is another opportunity which would take many years to replicate in a typical job where you work within the same group with the same co-workers for many years.

And of course, the program provides great practice in managing up, dealing with the management team. The MMA program is small enough for all educators to have daily one on one interactions with the directors, once again, experience which would typically take years to replicate elsewhere.

At the end of the summer program season, teaching staff in good standing are eligible to apply for year around career positions here, with very favorable odds of a landing a position. For summer staff where a career match is not in the cards, we still offer subsidized apartments and hourly work sufficient to allow them to support themselves while launching their job or grad school search.

We are located only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle in one of the most vibrant employment centers in the nation. A summer in Seattle can provide important local knowledge and an opportunity to connect with young people from major Seattle based employers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, REI, Costco, Starbucks, the University of Washington, and many others.  

Although it is never easy getting into a selective grad schools, or obtaining meaningful work and financial independence right out of an undergrad degree, the Sunset Bay Wharf offers a well trod path and supportive environment for young people to grow, learn, relax, and achieve their dreams.

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