There are some 4,700 companies across the country looking to hire interns this summer, according to Glassdoor, a popular career community site. This year, Southern California Edison (SCE) expects to receive some 2,500 student applications where competitive, paid summer and year-round internships can sometimes lead to full-time employment.
“My overall experience as an intern with SCE was fantastic,” said Stephen Dixon, who was recently hired full-time in the utility’s Capital Asset Accounting group after an internship in 2013. “It was a tremendous learning experience in terms of technical knowledge, but was also a great opportunity to get to know employees across the company and hear their stories.”
Dixon first learned about SCE’s internships through his membership in Cal State Los Angeles’ Beta Alpha Psi. With a degree in accounting, he knew he did not want to work in an accounting firm and saw the internship as a great fit. Plus, a growing family — he has three young kids — and the close proximity to his home, made working at SCE ideal.
“My advice to college students would be that if they are looking for an employer who provides a comfortable work-life balance and offers a wide range of opportunities upon graduation, as well as the chance to live in Southern California, they need to give SCE strong consideration.”
Each year, SCE fills dozens of summer internships and some year-round ones throughout the company in areas such as Transmission & Distribution, Customer Service and Power Supply. Applications are received from across the country from students studying subjects like engineering, computer science and business.
Angela Delgado and her team of University & Campus Relations recruiters are busy reviewing all of the resumes they’ve received from interested students trying to ensure they get the best fit, both for the students and the company.
“It’s about building a pipeline of entry-level talent for the company,” said Delgado, who has been managing SCE’s University & Campus Relations team for close to two years now. “The internship program allows us to showcase all the great opportunities in the company and recruit SCE’s future leaders.”
With an MBA and Masters in psychology, Samaneh Pourjalali had her choice of internships, but accepted a position on SCE’s e-commerce team in 2012 where the utility’s growing presence in social media was a main draw for her.
Ten months after interning at the utility, she received a call about a permanent position on SCE’s social media team and has been working full-time since.
“I came back because they recognized the growth of social,” she said, “and I enjoyed the people I worked with.” She added, “Electricity is a pretty big deal. I have an impact on something that’s integral to daily life.”
In-between his active and reserve duties with the U.S. Navy, Sam Uyeno interned in SCE’s Transmission & Distribution division in 2010 and 2011, seeing it as a great way to return to civilian life. He was hired on full-time in 2012 and was recently promoted to a manager position in the utility’s Transmission & Distribution Finance division.
“Coming from an energy background in the U.S. Navy I thought it would be a great industry to transition into as a civilian,” said Uyeno, whose engineering duties on a nuclear submarine served him well at SCE.
“I had an incredible experience learning about the energy utility industry, interfacing with senior level management and helping shape new business processes within Transmission & Distribution,” he said. “Overall, an amazing experience.”
It’s been 12 years since Mary Brown applied for an SCE internship hoping to put her electrical engineering degree from Cal Poly Pomona to good use. She’s been with the company full-time since 2005 and is now a senior project manager in the company’s Grid Interconnection & Contract Development.
“Working in [the Field Engineering] group helped me tap into my leadership, problem solving and analytical skills,” she said. “It helped me to see my true potential and to envision myself at greater heights within the company.”
In addition to the day-to-day mentoring the SCE interns receive, the utility also offers networking opportunities, executive panels and facility tours so students get a top-to-bottom work experience.
“These internships are a great way to get to know the company. It also shows students how their majors translate into careers,” said Delgado. “This is an exciting time for the company as we compete to get the top talent on campus.”
SCE’s summer internships are for college students actively pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees and run between 10 and 12 weeks. To apply or for more information, go to: edisoncollegejobs.com.