A new crop of college students will hit the ground running this month at Great River Energy, bringing with them new ideas and a drive to gain real-world working experience, as the cooperative’s summer internship program kicks off.
The program offers interns several months of well-rounded, firsthand experience working alongside utility industry professionals at Great River Energy. It provides students with an enriching step toward their future career, but also serves as part of the company’s recruitment strategy to attract and retain a skilled, diverse and engaged workforce.
“We’ve crafted our program in a way that enables growth and development — both professionally and personally — for our interns, and establishes them in our company’s culture,” said Heather Bittle, talent and outreach partner at Great River Energy. “Through this approach, they understand they play a role in keeping our cooperative moving. That’s what keeps them returning for additional summers, or even leads to them working here as full-time employees.”
Great River Energy is welcoming 18 interns this year who represent eight local universities and technical colleges. They will work in various departments of the company, ranging from communications and engineering to transmission line design and information technology.
In addition to the tasks and projects assigned to them throughout the summer by their Great River Energy mentors, Great River Energy host several events and learning opportunities for the interns. This year, the interns will participate in networking activities, tour a power plant, volunteer for a nonprofit organization and learn from guest speakers — including a panel of interns-turned-Great River Energy employees from years past.
“At the end of the summer they’ll also present a recap of their contributions to the company over the course of their internship,” Bittle said. “This is a great way for them to showcase their growth from start to finish.”