SITE interns get valuable experience with a personal touch

By on August 16, 2016

Eddie, Isaac and Rameez know what it takes to defend a computer system against malicious cyberattacks. Earlier this year, they proved their savvy cyber skills by helping their team place in the top 50 at the national CyberPatriot competition. CyberPatriot challenged them to protect a company’s computer network from viruses, hackers and other cyber threats.

This summer the promising millennials chose to continue sharpening their skills in our SITE internship program – Students Interested in Technical Education (SITE).

Isaac Knotts worked with our EDS Asset Management team to create a detailed database of high-risk transformers that will help us be more proactive with maintenance or replacement. Each transformer can provide electric service to a large facility or several homes in a neighborhood. Keeping them in good operating condition prevents outages and helps us provide reliable service to our customers.

Isaac said working on the project was a valuable learning experience because he gained technical skills, and got to work with a great team.

“I learned what it meant to be part of a corporate family that strives to work together,” he said. “I felt like part of the team.”

Rameez Shaukat and Eddie Flores were paired with mentors on our Enterprise Information Technology team. Eddie worked with IT Security on a database that tracks malicious web content that’s blocked from our network. Eddie found a way to manage the database more efficiently.

SITE Interns

SITE Interns (left to right) Rameez Shaukat, Eddie Flores and Isaac Knotts review one of their summer projects.

He said the most challenging part of his internship was learning to provide technical support over the phone. Adapting to enterprise grade software and gaining people skills gave him a well-rounded experience.

“I got to work with specific tools and programs that will help me at any future job,” said Eddie. “I learned to be a lot more open and talk directly to people. I probably would never have done this on my own.”

Rameez’s favorite part of his internship was the week he spent at one of our data centers. There he shadowed team members, installed fiber cable, and worked on other projects.

“I thought this would be a typical corporate culture, but everyone was open to answering my questions,” said Rameez. “I really learned a lot. All of the skills we learned are transferrable to other positions in the industry.”

The interns agreed being part of a work culture where they can learn and grow factors into their future career decisions. Having work references also makes a difference.

“I could try to work for a company like Google, but I don’t know anyone there,” said Isaac. “I know a lot of people here at CPS Energy that are willing to help me out. I would definitely consider working here someday.”

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