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Xcel Energy Interns Spotlight

Real job experience adds to their career potential

By: | June 11, 2018 7:19 pm

Learn why different college students, each with their own unique priorities, chose to become Xcel Energy interns.

Meet Alex, Electrical Engineering student at the University of Minnesota and Distribution Planning intern at Xcel Energy. When he’s not working or at school, Alex is a big basketball fan and once coached a high school intermural basketball team to their championship!

Last summer Alex and two fellow interns mapped out all of the solar farms in Minnesota and their data now lives on XcelEnergy.com. He says interning at Xcel Energy has prepared him for his future career by giving him the technical background needed to work in the power industry.

Alex’s advice to future interns? “With all the connections you make and experience you earn, it’s so worthwhile to start your professional career at Xcel Energy.  Learn as much as possible. Your team is there to make sure you succeed, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.”

Josie wanted to put the Strategic Communications skills she’s learning at the University of Minnesota to work in the real world, so she chose a Communications intern role at Xcel Energy. Protecting the environment resonates strongly with Josie, so learning about our efforts to move to a cleaner energy supply was very important. Not only has she learned about the energy industry, but she’s also gained confidence in her work, while developing her ability to prioritize and adapt in a fast-paced environment.

Josie’s Advice to future interns? “The energy industry is more interesting than it sounds! Get in there and get to know people. Be outgoing and willing to learn new things. Step out of your comfort zone.”

When Francisco chose to use his Electrical Engineering skills learned at the University of Minnesota for an Engineering intern role at Xcel Energy he knew this was the career for him. He wants to work in the power industry after graduation, and is grateful for the real-world experience he’s gained in this role. Most memorable are his experiences working in the field, and visiting our many substations. Francisco is most proud of his work managing data sets for yearly review.

Francisco’s advice to future interns? “It’s really exciting to join Xcel Energy because of the renewable energy they’re implementing now. Get into the energy field, ask a lot of questions, and try to get the best experience possible.”

Dymyll wanted to practice the Computer Information Systems skills he’s learning at West Texas A&M University and build on them.  As Xcel Energy’s Technical intern, he’s helped the system analysts, integration network security and database teams. He’s gained tech skills and experienced first-hand the importance of team work, communication and accountability.

When Dymyll first started he thought he might be in the way in a system so new and complex, but he quickly learned otherwise. His manager and coworkers explained how everything worked and how they approached it – even seeking out his knowledge and input along the way.

Dymyll’s advice to future interns? “Always have that desire to learn something new. Every day you go into work, make it your goal to try to understand the way things are done and how they work from all angles. Never stop learning.”

Meet Mahsa, University of Minnesota Computer Science student and IT Business Intelligence intern at Xcel Energy. When Mahsa was first looking for an internship she needed a company that would be flexible to balance work and school, and her role here did just that. She initially worried that making connections could be hard in a big company like Xcel Energy, but Mahsa was encouraged to setup ‘interviews’ with employees  on different teams and in different roles , helping her gain insight into many careers.

Mahsa strongly supports Xcel Energy’s stance on diversity and inclusion because working with people of different backgrounds and seeing how equally involved women are in our IT department helped her gain more confidence in the tech world.

Mahsa’s advice to future interns? “Make sure you learn about the culture of the organization. Look at what a typical day is like for an employee. It’s important to understand what type of work environment fits you best and what will help you to be successful.”

When Morad decided to use his Electrical Engineering skills earned at University of Colorado Denver for an internship on our Advanced Grid and Intelligence Security team, he had no idea just how life changing that choice would be. He’d always dreamed of getting his Master’s in Electrical Engineering and working at Xcel Energy gave Morad the motivation to pursue this goal, specializing in the Power System. He’s now midway through his Master’s program!

One accomplishment he’s most proud of from his internship is being in charge of a smart grid application (IVVO) that uses power flow studies to determine how many devices we need to deploy on our feeders.

Morad’s advice to future interns? “Take advantage of every learning opportunity that Xcel Energy offers – tours of generation plants and substations, presentations, etc. Learn and educate yourself to gain experience that will help you down the road.”

Meet Josiah, Communications student at North Central University and PR and Media Relations intern at Xcel Energy. Josiah wanted real world experience from the perspective of a large corporation. Born in Paris, France (and recently engaged there as well!), Josiah has a keen interest in traveling the world and hopes to use his writing and photography skills to tell the stories of communities across the globe. Much like everyone on our Xcel Energy team, he believes in the importance of community.

Josiah loves that Xcel Energy values protecting the environment because he’s grown up enjoying wildlife and the outdoors, and believes in the importance of global sustainability for future generations.

Josiah’s advice to future interns? “Don’t be afraid to ask the big questions. Don’t just ask how, but ask why too. Try to understand why we do things as an organization.”

Meet Lizette, West Texas A&M University Business student and Xcel Energy Transmission intern. Lizette worked at our call center while in school, where she was recognized for her leadership skills. She made the switch to our intern program to develop her business skills prior to graduation. Lizette plans to continue on after graduation for her Master’s in Business Administration, and hopes to hold a management or executive level role at a company like Xcel Energy where employees have opportunities to grow.

Lizette’s advice to future interns? “Don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember, an internship is a learning experience to gain knowledge to help you with future career decisions.”

Meet Nimesh, Electrical Engineering student at the Colorado School of Mines and Xcel Energy Business Systems – IT Service Delivery intern. When Nimesh was first considering internships it really appealed to him that ours were 18 months long rather than just a few, so he can actually apply the knowledge he’s learning.

Initially overwhelmed by how much there was to learn, Nimesh soon discovered that even the experts (his co-workers) were constantly learning. He found he could work with different teams in his area and wasn’t limited to knowing just one job. (Also, going into the transmission dispatch room for the first time and seeing the huge power grid wall was really cool.)

Nimesh’s advice for future interns? “If you find yourself with nothing to do, then you haven’t looked hard enough. Get up and ask around to see if you can watch what someone is working on. You’ll usually find that it’s something you knew nothing about, and can learn from. Your internship isn’t going to last forever, so take this opportunity to soak it all in.”

When Lamija chose to use her Marketing Communications skills from Bemidji State University as an intern at Xcel Energy, she was surprised how at home she felt, while at work! Being a female and also Bosnian, Lamija loves working for a company that values diversity and inclusion. “We are all different, and the fact that we can come together in our work place and overcome differences to deliver the best work possible and create lasting relationships is awesome.”

Why should you work at Xcel Energy? “It’s a company that appreciates hard work, and helps you land your dream role. My leader always ask me where I would like to go, and offers tips and advice for how I can get there. You may think you want to build a career from the role you are interning in, but it’s ok to learn you have interests in a different role or department. That’s the beauty of a large company; you’re encouraged to make connections with people all over the company to see where you fit best.”

Find internship opportunities on our website.

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