Recognizing interns’ contributions on National Intern Day
July 28 is National Intern Day, an opportunity to celebrate and thank interns for their creativity and the efforts they bring to organizations across the country. College internships provide students with opportunities to obtain practical knowledge and work experience, enhance their academic preparations, gain exposure to the business world, and possibly even earn academic credits.
At Xcel Energy, internships support the company's business goals of developing a diverse talent pool for future full-time opportunities, as well as helping to get valuable work done with new talent, said Nancy Wallace, Xcel Energy’s internship program coordinator. With the shift in the energy industry to renewable energy and decarbonization, internships provide an opportunity for Xcel Energy to learn from younger talent and continue to cultivate innovation.
More than 200 high school, undergraduate and graduate interns play an integral part at the company in building a better energy future each year. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences bring new ideas and innovative approaches to help address numerous energy-related challenges.
“Early career professionals can try out a company to see if their values and interests match, and organizations benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences interns contribute,” Wallace said. “Xcel Energy’s internship program presents an excellent opportunity to hire talented individuals to complete projects while supporting the company’s efforts to advance an inclusive and diverse workforce.
“The company is continuously looking for ways to make the intern experience more valuable and enticing for potential interns,” said Baird McKevitt, Xcel Energy’s director of Inclusion and Diversity, whose team coordinates the internship program. “For example, we recently expanded the company’s volunteer paid-time-off benefit to include interns. So now, our interns can not only focus on their work projects, but also join their Xcel Energy colleagues in serving our communities through volunteerism.”
One of those interns is Maria Navidad Sanchez Resendiz, an engineering intern with Distribution Systems Planning.
“Interning at Xcel Energy is more than just filing paperwork or organizing cabinets,” she said. “For me, it's about learning and doing what an electrical engineer does every day. It's solving real-world problems by communicating effectively with your co-workers and customers. My internship has helped me gain skills that support both my career and personal life.”
On the management side, Jamie Mailer – in her current position as talent acquisition manager – has worked with six interns and sees firsthand the value these individuals bring to the organization.
“One of the things I love most is developing employees and being part of the learning and growing process,” Mailer said. “While this can be done at all levels, it is especially rewarding to be part of an intern's journey.”
Mailer has hired two interns into full-time positions, helped transfer one intern to a full-time position in a new department and is currently interviewing another intern for a full-time role.
“The company benefits from different experiences and perspectives,” she said. “And interns can bring just that.”