When Vinci Sevilla, Jr. turned 13, his parents bought him a build your own radio kit for his birthday. He loved the coils used to produce the frequency, and although he could never get the radio to work, it would set in motion his dream of one day becoming an electrical engineer.
It was during his junior year at the University of California, Riverside that he learned about a career fair for engineering students at Cal Poly Pomona. Even though he wasn’t a student there, he decided to try his luck and drove out to the fair.
“I went straight to the Edison booth,” said Sevilla, 22, admitting that he received some quizzical looks from some of the employees manning the booth. “Edison was one of my dream jobs because it’s one of the nation’s largest utilities in renewable resources.”
Shortly afterwards, he was offered an internship in the Distribution Automation Engineering division of Southern California Edison (SCE). This past June, his dream of one day working at Edison International came true when he was hired full-time in the same department.
“My time here has been great and I feel like I have really progressed,” said Sevilla, whose work involves maintaining and testing automated devices throughout the entire SCE territory.
Ironically, one of the draws for originally hiring Sevilla as an SCE intern was that he had received an Edison International scholarship of $10,000 back in 2009. He had listed the award on his resume when he attended that fateful career fair.
Each year, Edison International supports students in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) with scholarships, and many find that internships and jobs are also waiting for them once they graduate.
“As an energy provider, we have a stake in ensuring that there is a skilled, workforce to meet our future demand for electricity service,” said Tammy Tumbling, director, Philanthropy and Community Investment. “Through our Edison Scholars Program, we provide college scholarships in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. Last year, we awarded $2.9 million in scholarships to deserving students to pursue university studies in Southern California. This provides an excellent pool from which we can potentially hire employees and interns here at Edison.”
SCE’s commitment to nurturing young minds is reflected in its University & Campus Relations team. This group actively goes out to the various colleges seeking qualified students for internships and jobs at the utility.
“The University and Campus Relations team strives to recruit qualified, diverse entry-level talent into the organization,” said Angela Delgado, University & Campus Relations manager. “The scholarship program assists us in our ability to attract, engage and retain top talent. Our recruiters stay connected to scholarship recipients throughout the year and keep them updated on upcoming recruitment events and potential job opportunities.”
Scarlett Carrillo, 24, had always thought that a nursing career was her life’s path. But after volunteering at a hospital’s neo-natal intensive care unit and seeing the sick kids, she knew that a nursing career was not for her.
“Emotionally I couldn’t take it. Some babies didn’t make it so it was very emotional,” she said.
Carrillo decided to change her major to electrical engineering during her freshman year at California State University, Los Angeles. Her love of math had originally drawn her to the field, but it was at one of her school’s career fairs that she met some female SCE engineers and she knew she had made the correct choice.
“They really talked about how it was important to continue our goals to become engineers and not give up,” she said. “They were a great inspiration.”
Like Sevilla, Carrillo had received a $600 scholarship from Edison International during high school and was hired as an SCE intern in the utility’s Advanced Technology division in July 2012. This past June she was hired full-time in the Advanced Applications group where she maintains and models a network that simulates power systems.
Carrillo gets tremendous satisfaction from her work as an electrical engineer at SCE and has never thought twice about leaving behind her nursing aspirations.
“I can still help others through engineering,” she said. “I’m making sure we have reliable energy and I can definitely still make an impact."
The next application process for the Edison Scholars Program will begin Oct. 1. Interested students can go to www.scholarsapply.org/edisonscholars for more information. If you are interested in learning more about University & Campus Relations hiring, email firstname.lastname@example.org.