Edison International interns dive into projects and make impactful contributions in their own communities.
Submitted by Edison International
While out for a drive with friends in her neighborhood, Sharon Johannes casually points to the nearby power lines and shares, “There’s a three-phase system.”
The technical details don’t quite make sense to her friends. Still, Johannes is delighted to share the knowledge as she knows the work she’s putting in as a Southern California Edison summer intern is making a big impact in the Redlands community she calls home.
Johannes will be returning to the University of California, San Diego this fall to complete her fourth and final year of electrical engineering with a concentration in power. As part of SCE’s distribution engineering team, her projects focus on field engineering concerning increased electricity demand from new homes and businesses in growing communities and finding solutions to prevent issues from arising years into the future.
Her work is also essential to SCE’s wildfire mitigation plan as she implements plans and ensures compliance standards when SCE replaces bare wire with covered conductor in the desert region, which includes her hometown.
“It seemed a bit daunting at first because the work I’m doing will affect people’s lives and their homes,” said Johannes. “But it is also reassuring to know that I have control to make sure that this is a safe and reliable system, which is what Edison stands for, keeping customers and the overall system safe and reliable.”
Johannes is just one of the 138 students in SCE’s summer internship program this year. The annual summer internship program that began in 2015 has been virtual for the previous two years. This year’s pandemic-related safety measures have allowed the interns to experience a hybrid work mode and give them the best of both worlds by focusing on projects at home and going out for field visits or team outings.
“It’s important for our interns to work on real projects that align with the company's strategic goals and also get some valuable face time to experience outings and company events,” said Tricia Joyner, SCE principal manager of Talent Acquisition. “Our internship program is developed as a pipeline to help jump-start their careers, gain experience working in the utility industry and fill entry-level positions.”
While the interns have been primarily working remotely, this didn’t stop them from getting out into the field and experiencing it all in person. Johannes and her team took a trip to Big Bear to observe different types of transformers to get some perspective on what they look like on the circuit map and to scope out potential areas for new projects as well.
Another summer intern, Brian Rogers, took some time on the weekend to give back to the community by participating in a summer intern-led volunteer event. The California State University, Long Beach electrical engineering student enjoyed his experience working at SCE so much that he applied for a second term and is currently completing his second internship with the company.
“What I appreciate about SCE is that they were willing to bring me in as an intern with no prior experience. The program helped me develop myself not only as a person but also gave me the skills necessary to advance my career,” said Rogers. “So, I returned this year and was offered a second summer internship in technology engagement.”
In his first internship, Rogers was on the protection engineering team, which focused on equipment safety. This year, he is a part of the technology engagement team, which marries technical work with business operations. One of Rogers’ assignments was to evaluate potential energy incubator and accelerator programs to support SCE’s interest in emerging technologies that would help advance the grid.
“SCE is invested in being at the forefront of advancing the grid and being the leading clean energy utility,” he said. “What’s difficult about my position on the grid technology innovation team is that we evaluate several wonderful ideas, but only a select few have the potential for long-term implementation on the grid.”
For more information about SCE internships, visit edisoncareers.com. Internship positions are typically posted in the fall.
Edison International (NYSE:EIX), through its subsidiaries, is a generator and distributor of electric power and an investor in energy services and technologies, including renewable energy. Headquartered in Rosemead, Calif., Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.
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