We see reports daily that speak to the need for employees versed in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and the importance of preparing students to use these skills in the workplace. Businesses have long known of the need and schools are adapting curricula. But students can’t always see how these skills will be applied in their future jobs.
To help students be prepared, the University of the Incarnate Word recently hosted a group of CPS Energy’s STEM professionals to shine a light on the opportunities at the nation’s largest gas and electric utility.
Through a panel discussion and some networking time, about 40 students were able to talk to our pros about the changing energy business that will require us to modernize the electric grid, expand the use of renewables, improve energy efficiency and implement the latest technologies. We are leading the industry in these areas, and we must grow our workforce with people who bring technical skills, a love for learning, creative problem-solving and teamwork.
Our five panelists shared highlights from their daily work, and their career paths—all of which included internships. They ended with advice for the students about preparing for their future STEM careers: take advantage of internships offered by companies like CPS Energy. Learning how to work in a professional environment, before you have to earn a living, is valuable.
- Take business classes. Get comfortable speaking and writing. Even if your job is to be a technical expert, you will work on teams, solve business problems and have to present to leaders.
- Look for employers (like CPS Energy) who value learning as much as you do, and will support training and continuing education with programs like tuition reimbursement.
- Realize you can make the world better from anywhere. At CPS Energy, that can mean reducing pollution through energy-efficient technology, making services better for low-income customers, or reducing risk to co-workers by automating dangerous tasks or using robots. The possibilities are endless.