CPS Energy’s interns say goodbye after a full summer

By on August 25, 2014

The end of summer lunch was bittersweet as CPS Energy’s interns and their employee mentors gathered together at La Villita one final time this summer.

The 39 interns, who were part of three different programs at CPS Energy, will now head back to their respective schools, many of them with scholarship money as part of the deal.

Those lunching enjoyed two intern-produced videos which shared some of the many things the students learned — and served as one final learning opportunity for them.

“Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to work when we first started but it was really fun,” said Michael Saulnier, a senior at Churchill High School who interned in the System Measurements and Technology Department. “I ended up being in charge of editing and compiling all of the individual clips into a main video.”

The result was “Just Another Video,” in which a band of six interns worked in groups and individually to create short clips that were strung together.

The other video, “Share Our Experiences” was created by another group, from all three CPS Energy intern programs, including SAFE (Student Assistance for Education), SITE (Students Interested in Technical Education), Inspire U, and the Corporate Summer Internship Program.

“Sometimes people think interns don’t do much that’s important”, said Kristina Lawrence, a sophomore at Palo Alto Community College who worked in Large Commercial Service and Development this summer.

“We wanted to make the video to really capture the roles interns play here,” she said. “A lot of interns were given very important projects, and we wanted to show that.”

For example, Ashley Martinez, a SAFE student who interned in Human Resources, helped the recruiting team call candidates for positions, conducted phone screens and interviews and wrote down prospective employees’ answers so HR could evaluate them and determine if they should move on.

Stanislav Gankov, who interned at the Energy Management Center, and is studying electrical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio was tasked with testing the outage and distribution management systems — part of CPS Energy smart grid technology.

“It’s very exciting to work at CPS Energy,” he said, “because I’m given real world engineering tasks.”

After the videos, the interns were recognized and received their certificates while their mentors looked on proudly.

“It was an absolute pleasure,” said Olga Jaskinia, a first year mentor to SITE student Barbara Martinez, “giving students direction and watching them grow as they learn how it is in the real world.”

Bria Ford, a corporate intern who will return to Baylor University, said she really enjoyed her time at CPS Energy.

“Sitting in a classroom and learning from a lecture is not the same as actually doing what you’re learning.” she said. “I really liked that what I’m studying was what I was doing.”

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