Here at CPS Energy, we currently have a team of 73 amazing interns who contribute to various departments across the Company. These soon-to-be professionals from high schools and colleges across the state and country work everywhere from Outage Management to Power Generation to Data Analytics while learning valuable job skills they can apply to their future careers. On this National Intern Day, Collin Burris and Kimberly Wilborn, who are interning in the Corporate Communications & Marketing department, talked about their experiences this summer.
“I came in not knowing really what my career path would be but I’m leaning toward market research because of the projects I’ve worked on here,” said Collin, a junior studying marketing at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). “I’m becoming more well-rounded because I’m getting help with a lot of things.”
“I think it’s been really eye-opening because it’s very related to my degree,” said Kimberly, who studies journalism at Emerson College in Boston. “This internship has shown me that I can use my major not only for news but for corporate work as well.”
Both Collin and Kimberly said they feel they’ve been able to add value to their teams in their short time here. Kimberly has already written multiple pieces for CPS Energy news channels and covered a few company events, including the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo Association (TLRA) annual Lineman Rodeo. Collin has worked on a number of market research projects, particularly those centered on solar energy.
“In our department, you have to get engagement with customers and having new minds is valuable because we have a different perspective,” said Kimberly. “It helps keep content fresh.”
“I think we bring a different mindset just because of our age,” said Collin. “We are able to help come up with new solutions because we think a little differently.”
Cristina Duarte, Manager of Education & Mentoring Programs at CPS Energy, said that this group of interns has grown significantly with each passing week.
“Some of them started off very quiet and shy and uncertain about their career path,” Cristina said. “Now they walk with confidence and you would have thought they had been working here for years. By interning with us, they’re able to validate that career choice. They receive a hands-on learning experience from multiple employees eager to share their knowledge.”
These interns have already learned a variety of valuable lessons that will stick with them beyond August 10, when they head back to school. This is in large part thanks to Cristina and the Corporate Responsibility team, which oversees the CPS Energy intern program. Not only has the team helped interns learn new skills, but they’ve also planned out fun activities, including a special “Intern and Mentor Event” to celebrate National Intern Day. The event includes breakfast and lunch, training, team building and a scavenger hunt.
“The internship program isn’t just an opportunity for employees to receive extra help,” said Cristina. “This is an opportunity for employees to share with someone who wants to learn. CPS Energy treats their interns like family.”