Operational Excellence
July 24, 2019

National Intern Day highlights need for student support

Hiring of scholarship recipients is a key part of our internal effort

Hiring interns helps Xcel Energy build its future workforce. One way we fill our candidate pool is by partnering with organizations like Minnesota Private College Fund to award scholarships to exceptional students studying areas that are relevant to our business, as well as areas of anticipated future workforce needs.

The company aims to leverage its investments in scholarships, so recipients are invited to apply to be considered for open internship positions, possibly opening doors to full-time employment in the future. On this National Intern Day, we are highlighting the successful journey that two Xcel Energy employees took from scholarship recipient to internships and on to full-time employment.

Olaoluwa Oyewusi, an engineer at Skypark in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, knew he wanted to work at Xcel Energy from the beginning of his college journey, and as a two-time scholarship recipient, he stood out and landed an internship in Distribution.

"My time as an intern in Distribution was nothing short of rewarding. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor like Joel Limoges, who guided me throughout my entire internship," Oyewusi said. "Joel was excited about my future, and he really wanted to see me succeed."

Two months after Oyewusi graduated from college, he was notified of an open job opportunity as an area engineer in Distribution, for which he applied, interviewed and then accepted. Thanks to that journey, Oyewusi said his aspirations have been fulfilled.

Not every success story like this starts with a student whose dream is to work at Xcel Energy. Jasmine Zhanay, benefits and disability specialist, applied and was awarded her scholarship during her senior year of college, and the Minnesota Private College Council encouraged her to apply for an internship at Xcel Energy.

Contrary to Oyewusi's experience, Zhanay had never considered Xcel Energy as a potential employer before the scholarship opportunity. But she did some research and was inspired by the company's strides toward safe, clean and reliable energy. Zhanay then decided to apply for an internship, and she has worked for the company ever since.

"I landed the internship and gained so much from my experience with the Inclusion and Diversity team and various other HR teams," she said "And with the support of my team, I applied for and landed a full-time job in HR Operations. Walking across the stage on my graduation day, knowing I had a job at Xcel Energy lined up, was to say the least very exciting."

A valuable result of Xcel Energy's scholarship program is not only to place high-quality intern candidates, but also to build pipelines of individuals who understand our culture, our business and believe in Xcel Energy's mission and values. These are the success stories that we want to replicate. For more information on our scholarship programs and our scholarship recipients, reach out to internships@xcelenergy.com.