Electrical engineers are considered the “James Bonds” of the power system, making dashing and masterful decisions that keep your lights on today and looking years down the road to forecast what will be needed to best achieve that goal in the future. February 16-22 is National Engineers Week. Great Lakes Energy has a special reason to celebrate its engineering staff, as do other electric utilities.
So how do utilities like GLE find such superstars? One way is through paid engineering internships.
Meet Andrew Miotto
GLE accepted Andrew Miotto, of Petoskey, as an intern in the summer of 2019. Andrew returned to work over winter break for about a month in December. His excellent work has secured him the offer from GLE of additional employment as an intern in summer 2020. He will graduate with an electrical engineering degree in May 2021.
Andrew discovered the internship opportunity with GLE through an internet search on a recruiting site. He admits he wasn’t sure he wanted an internship with an electric distribution utility. Working for GLE changed his mind, and he’s now drawn to the field of distribution engineering. As a result, Andrew is narrowing down his technical electives to the area of electrical distribution.
“I didn’t expect to be working in the area of automation (during an internship),” Andrew says. He notes he failed to realize the level of planning needed for tying in electrical distribution with substations and automating equipment for responding faster to outages.
“Working for Great Lakes Energy was a great experience. I found out I’ve got lots yet to learn,” he observes, adding he would gladly come to work for GLE permanently if offered a position. His supervisor happens to have also first been an engineering intern at GLE, as well as another engineering supervisor.
GLE’s engineering department is the largest technical team for which Andrew has worked so far. He mentions with satisfaction, “There’s a clear chain of command at GLE.”
About GLE Internships
“Interns at GLE go through the same hiring process as any of our other hires,” says Manager of Human Resources Charity Gee.
Internships, in general, can work favorably for an employer like GLE. Its interns are hired on a temporary, entry-level basis and so make less pay than certified engineers. The interns apply skills they are learning in an actual working environment, giving them experience. The utility taps into those skills and helps the intern refine them with on-the-job training. In the best-case scenario, the intern “fits” with the company and becomes a top candidate for future job openings.
To discover internship opportunities at GLE in engineering and other departments, visit the Careers tab on gtlakes.com and click on “See Our Latest Job Openings.” Openings for interns are posted the same as any other job listings. You can also sign up for Job Alerts to be notified whenever a new job opening is posted.