CPS Energy internships spark interest in future careers

Joshua dreams of exceling in mechanical engineering at a company that values its employees and invests in their future. As a senior at Texas A&M University at College Station, he was eager to start his summer internship at our utility, where we demonstrate People First through our daily actions.

“Being from San Antonio, I heard a lot about CPS Energy and it sounded like a place that really cared for its employees,” said Joshua Just, an intern with our Power Generation team. “Now that I’m here, I see how well the company takes care of its employees. I love working here.”

He noted that one of the highlights of his internship is traveling to the various power plants and getting a close-up view of the equipment he learned about in the classroom.

“Seeing how it works in person gives me a whole new perspective.”

Joshua is one of more than 60 interns we’ve recruited through our various internship programs this summer. Along with hands-on learning experiences, students’ network with business professionals across our company and community.

CPS Energy’s Corporate Responsibility team, which coordinates the company’s internship program, hosted more than 100 interns communitywide for Intern Development Days last week. The high school and college interns came from six companies, including Geekdom, San Antonio Water System and HOLT CAT. 

The two-day event kicked off with a panel discussion about careers and innovation. Panelists included Cris Eugster, Chief Operating Officer at CPS Energy; Charles Woodin, CEO of Geekdom; Molly Cox, President & CEO of SA2020; and Jordana Barton, Sr. Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas—San Antonio Branch.

Afterward, interns rotated to more than a dozen tables for a speed networking activity to connect with leaders and representatives of companies like Spurs Entertainment and Whataburger. Interns got career advice and made professional connections to impact their future careers. Victoria Davis, an intern in CPS Energy’s People & Culture area, had a chance to engage with team members from other parts of the utility.

“CPS Energy absolutely love their jobs and feel taken of,” said Victoria. “They explained to us that the monetary and health benefits are great, but beyond those benefits CPS Energy is a company that fosters growth within their employees and community.”

Interns later got to show off some of their competitive spirit by taking part in an Intern Innovation Challenge. Like our Employee Customer Centric Competition (EC3), interns put their corporate knowledge and creativity to the test by proposing innovative solutions to help make a difference within our company. After employees pitched challenging situations their area faces, teams of interns worked together for less than a day to come up with a solution for one of the challenges. They presented their solutions the following day.

Joshua Just (second from left) celebrates with his team after winning the Intern Innovation Challenge at the Villita Assembly Building on June 27.

Joshua’s team won the competition by coming up with a novel way of handling graffiti on transformer boxes in the downtown area. The team proposed CPS Energy encourage local companies to sponsor the plain metal boxes and wrap them with advertisements. In addition, Joshua’s team suggested the 8 X 10 ft. boxes be equipped with a special QR code for tourists to scan and get historic information about surrounding landmarks.

“I have friends at College Station who always ask me about San Antonio,” said Joshua. “They know about the Alamo, but there’s so much more to see. The QR codes would allow visitors to go on a self-guided tour of the city.”

Through internships, CPS Energy is attracting and investing in local students. Since 2016, the company has hired 22 summer interns for various roles with nearly half of them filling technical roles in high demand in the utility industry. With the industry changing rapidly and new technologies emerging, CPS Energy is recruiting talent to help navigate those changes. Joshua and Victoria are eager to be part of that future.

“I feel like I’m part of one big family,” said Victoria. “Meeting and talking to employees has helped reaffirm my goal to work here some day and be a full-time member of this family.”

Sam Taylor

Sam is part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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