SCE Summer Internships Go Virtual
SCE Summer Internships Go Virtual
Earlier this year, Kathleen Feng, 21, lost her part-time job at a boba store and transitioned to online classes at the University of California, Irvine as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified.
“I was expecting to get an email from Southern California Edison that the summer internship would be canceled, so I was surprised and grateful when it wasn’t,” said Feng, one of 154 SCE interns this summer.
The utility recently kicked off its annual summer internship program, which went virtual for the first time.
“It certainly wasn’t what every intern signed up for when they got their offer, but we’ve pivoted to make it as meaningful and engaging as possible in a remote environment,” said Tricia Joyner, SCE principal manager in Talent Acquisition. “It’s important for us to continue to build a diverse pipeline of future generation talent and hires.”
Feng, a business economics major with a minor in statistics, joined the Transmission & Distribution data visualization team. She’s collaborating with fellow interns, Danielle Joy Lavine and Haroon Zia, on a grid scorecard project to help automate creating visual reports rather than manually entering data, which will help the company save time and money.
While initially overwhelmed with unfamiliar tools and terms, she has gained confidence through her team’s encouragement and support.
“They allowed me to realize that I’m putting too much pressure on myself,” said Feng.
Anthony Salvatore Villicana, 23, is also a Transmission & Distribution intern as part of the Substation Projects, Metro East – Orange Region group.
At substations, high voltage is lowered so it can be sent on smaller power lines to power homes and businesses. With his team, Villicana is working to replace an older-style circuit breaker for a capacitor bank, which stores energy.
“We have a lot of measuring to do — looking at schematics and doing virtual job walks to see if we could fit a new circuit breaker there without having trouble with future construction and ensuring safety standards are met,” said Villicana.
He appreciates the accessibility and responsiveness of his team as well as senior leadership through opportunities such as a virtual meeting for interns with Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, SCE’s parent company.
“They make me feel like I’m not an intern, and I’m actually part of the team. It’s pretty cool,” said Villicana. “After getting my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of California, Riverside, I would love to come back to Edison as an engineer.”
Mayra Izquierdo Montoya, 28, a mechanical engineering student at California State University, Los Angeles, is part of IT’s Power System Advanced Applications team at SCE. She is working with engineers to model a meter device and create applications to help identify real-time issues with the power grid.
“This is my first internship,” said Montoya. “I’ve been independent since a young age and always needed to work. I had promised myself last year that I wasn’t going to let this summer go by without doing an internship. That’s what I focused on and now I’m here.”
For others also seeking a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), she says, “Don’t give up and don’t doubt yourself. Surround yourself with encouraging colleagues. You never know until you try it.”
For more information about SCE internships, visit: edisoncareers.com. Internship positions are typically posted in the fall.