My Experience at FirstEnergy

My Experience at FirstEnergy

By: Jason Do

My internship was one of the best experiences I have ever had when it comes to careers and work. Before my internship, I didn’t really understand much about FirstEnergy. All I really knew was “Something something, electricity, bring power to my house please.” This internship has taught me that there is much more that goes on behind the scenes, such as preparing the project, designing the equipment and power lines, planning for contingencies, operating the breakers, and even taking care of the budget.

My internship was split into 8 departments within 8 weeks. In each department, I learned something new and how it contributed to FirstEnergy as a whole. One of my favorite parts was getting to go to the Akron Control Center, or ACC. The control room looked like something out of a spy or government agency film. The walls were embedded with several massive screens showing FE’s transmission grid, and there were multiple computers on each operator’s desk. The room was a bit dark, only slightly lit up by dim lights and the light from the computers and screens.

I also got to go both out in the field and in the office with my internship. In the field, I assisted the employees with measuring “guy lines”, commissioning equipment, and learning about electrical lines. While in the office, I got to learn about how FirstEnergy runs, as well as what it feels like to work there.

Surprisingly, I found the internship to be really fun! I had thought it would be very serious and strict, but everyone was nice to me while I went through the program. They treated me as if I were just another employee, and I felt that FirstEnergy in general treats their workers very well. Despite not having much work in one or two of the departments, I still found the internship to be fun, informative, and exciting!

All in all, this was an incredible opportunity. I learned a plethora of things involving electricity and the workplace, and this experience will stick with me throughout my life. Thanks to this experience, I am also more confident about what I want to major in college: Electrical Engineering. I am very grateful to both FE and AASEP for allowing me the chance to expand my horizons and learn what it means to intern under FirstEnergy. I would like to thank Terry Malone, Dewayne Edwards, Jonathan Simmons, and everyone else who made this possible.

Field Work and Office Experience

Field Work and Office Experience

By: Keeremat Melaiye

Field Work

Img 9331Keeremat Melaiye, pictured second from right

I used to be really excited about field work. In my first week at FirstEnergy, I was placed into the Transmission and Substation Design Department. I was given a brief introduction about how electricity is delivered into people’s homes and the design behind the materials that they use. Afterwards, I was taken to a substation near one of their other buildings. It was fascinating to see the equipment used in person and how it works. I was able to touch the breakers that were not activated and realized how enormous and heavy each piece of equipment was.  Later that week, I went to another substation with the same department, and was measuring ‘guy lines’ with a rangefinder. Despite the scorching heat, I had fun learning what they do at the substation. It was until I got home that on my shoulder, I found...a tick! Another thing I have noticed in field work is that there is a lot of traveling. When I was in the Project Management Department, I was told to travel all the way to a substation in Mansfield using my own car, which took me an hour on the expressway. When I got to my destination, I spent 15-20 minutes in that area before having to drive to another substation, in which I spent around 10 minutes in. I realized that travelling long distances only to spend a short amount of time in those locations was exhausting and not something I would be interested in doing often.

Office Work

For most of the internship, I was not given work to do. I would shadow a couple of employees each day and learn what they do in their department, however, it didn’t take long for them to explain their role in the department and most of the employees were busy with their work. This resulted in the other interns and I having nothing to do for periods of time.  One of our supervisors noticed this and decided to give all the high school interns a challenge. The challenge that the other interns and I were given was to create an “app” using VBA Excel to solve a problem relating to FirstEnergy. I was struggling with the program because I am not used to coding programs, but it was a great experience for me to do something new. My idea was to create a code that would help users to track the mileage quickly and easily. As I am not done with the internship yet, it is still in the process of completion; however, I will be presenting my idea to the judges and competing with the other interns towards the end of the internship.

 

 

Learning the Pathway to My Career

Learning the Pathway to My Career

By: Maliyah Ramsey

Maliyah Ramsey

The All Akron Student Engineering Program taught me useful material that related back to professionalism in the workplace. I learned how to properly greet people, how to properly eat at a professional lunch meeting, how to properly dress business casual and how to brand myself. This program helped me learn how I’ll be able to accomplish the goal of being successful outside of school. They have given me the opportunity of being part of an internship which has helped me learn the pathway I wanted to take in my future career. This program not only helped me with professionalism but has also helped me know the person I am. With the help of Mr. Simmons and Ms. Halasa they have helped me brand myself and notice different aspects that I have never seen in me before. They helped me notice my strengths and listed them down. After we were done, we pointed out the key points of what made me the person I am and summed it up to a   one-minute speech called an elevator speech. We had the chance to go over our speech with others and was even able to present it out in front of all the companies.This program was very effective and taught me a variety of skills that I do plan on using in the future. 

 

Prepared for My Internship and Future

Prepared for My Internship and Future

By: Milan Radonjich 

I am thankful that the AASEP was not only going to provide a summer internship in engineering, but also train me to be ready for it. The workshops that were held throughout the program were excellent! They helped me develop and improve certain soft skills that are important in the workplace. Every presenter was very interesting and brought something special to the table. We learned about personal branding, goal setting, table etiquette, proper attire, and many other topics. Towards the end of each workshop, we were proposed a challenge and had to split into groups. This made me interact with new people from all over Akron. These challenges were fun and drove us to think critically and creatively. As the year went on, I found myself much more prepared for my summer internship due to these speakers, presentations, and challenges.

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Milan Radonjich, pictured second from the left           Milan Radonjich, looking down and pointing

Confidence in Engineering

Confidence in Engineering 

By: Hunter Huey 

I have been considering being a mechanical engineer for most of my life at this point. I have of course gone back and forth between that and other career paths, but I have always returned to the idea of mechanical engineering. At this point in my life, I think that I want to for sure go down that path of engineering, but I do not entirely know what specific field to go into. I joined this program in the hopes that I would get a better idea of what I would want to do. Now, I do not have all experience that everyone else who is a part of the program might (on account that I joined very late), but I have gained valuable experience from the program. Both the program before the internship and the actual internship have given me plenty of information and experiences.

I was late to the AASEP program and did not attend a meeting until around March, so I was only able to attend three or four meetings. From those meetings though, I was able to get plenty of information about business and how to properly conduct myself in a business environment. While a lot of it was not necessarily engineering related it still was valuable information to have and I can use for the rest of my life. While there was not necessarily a lot of engineering information going on (from what I experienced at least), the information that was there was eye opening. When I first joined the program, I was still between engineering and forensic science. I knew that forensic was not a very easy field to get into due to there not being many positions that would be open and would probably require moving somewhere to get a job, which was not great but I did not know anything about the openings of being an engineer so I still held onto the idea of being a forensic scientist. When we were shown all the participating companies for the program, my reservations were completely wiped away. Being shown that there were tons of companies that were all local, gave me plenty of confidence that getting into engineering would be the right thing to do.

Now for the actual internship, that has, in a way, made me more indecisive on what path of engineering to go down. Since I was picked by the City of Akron, I have been around civil engineers, which is similar in some aspects, but in action, is different. The thing is though, that civil is not something I had considered before, but it does seem fairly interesting. I just need more information to help me make my decision. Granted, I still plan on going into mechanical engineering, but would like to feel more confident that I’m going to the field that I want. I have some time though as I have learned that college courses for civil and mechanical are similar, so I’m not very worried about it.

Strengthened Skills

Strengthened Skills

By: Hunter Jones 

For my internship through AASEP, I worked with Thomarios. Thomarios has many different aspects to their company including industrial coating, powder coating, and construction. When I was interning there, I worked in the IT department with Mr. Frutchey and Ryan. The IT department was separated from the construction, and for the most part, we did not do much with the construction, industrial coating, and powder coating departments.

On the first two days, I had the task of preparing laptops and desktops for the use of other people at the company. This process involved first making sure the laptops and desktops each had the cords that are needed. I then had to update windows and specific software on each of the computers, which took the bulk of the time for this project. Some of the computers had problems, which I needed to diagnose and fix so they are in working condition.

The main task I had to do is display an image on a Mac II. I spent a lot of time trying to get a raspberry pi to accomplish this, but because I did not have the correct parts I needed to convert the signal nor the time to get them, I was not able to finish the specific project.

When I wasn’t working on either of the other 2 projects, there were still other things that I had to do. I was able to help people with other technical questions when they arrived. I also spent time on CBT Nuggets, a website with courses on various IT topics. The course I finished was on SQL, which is a query language used in database management. Also, during the last week I was able to visit various construction sites and clients which allowed me to see what it is like being on a construction site.

Overall my internship at Thomarios gave me experience in the workforce and I learned a lot from it. I learned both about IT and construction work which helped strengthen my problem-solving skills which are extremely important in IT. It also allowed me to witness what IT employees do daily and help them on their projects.

Insights for My Future

Insights for My Future 

By: Shelley Bradshaw

 

As my time at Prime AE comes to a close, I am very thankful for the experiences and knowledge I have gained with the help of those in the office with me. I have seen many different sides of engineering and it has helped me to further understand what I want to do with the rest of my life. One of the things I liked the most was visiting a project site they are working on. It was nice to see what really happens on a job site, and to see all the preparation that goes into a project. This internship has also taught me that, although doing things in the office might not be the most fun, it is necessary to make sure everything pans out smoothly and goes nicely on the site. Another thing that I was introduced to is AutoCAD. They showed me how to draw using the program and gave me real life applications where it would help draw up a plan.  Finally, going on the tour of the water and wastewater plants gave me a new perspective on what goes into treating water. It made me realize that I take the water at my house for granted, and that some people work 24/7 to ensure the water I get is safe and clean and reliable to use. This internship has been a great experience and I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to experience something like this before I graduate high school!

Growing as a Young Professional

Growing as a Young Professional 

By: Kathryn Burns

 

Nametag Kathryn

When I had made the decision in the fall of my senior year to reapply for this cooperative learning experience, it had been the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make. After thoroughly enjoying my first internship with the amazing civil department at CT Consultants Fairlawn office, I was so excited to get the opportunity to intern again this summer. I had my heart set on continuing to learn more about the topics that my first internship went into. This included exploring the multiple facets of civil engineering: providing clean water, wastewater treatment, finding ways to preserve the environment while creating infrastructure, and working with governments to make the designs a reality. While working with a traffic engineer, I visited various schools that had outdated signs and see a traffic study simulation. I loved these experiences and tried to express my desire to work with a company that was focused in civil engineering during my interviews. 

   

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I was chosen by Osborn Engineering which is a consulting firm and has a transportation group in Akron that I was specifically assigned to. I admit that I felt a bit apprehensive because I had very little experience with traffic engineering and I wasn’t sure if I would like it as much as I had other parts of my first internship which was more civil focused. I’m extremely grateful that I was able to get to focus on a different area of civil engineering because I learned so much during my internship. 

   

 

 

 

Fencedesign Kathryn Fence design with AutoCAD

First, I was able to deepen my understanding and ability to use AutoCAD which is a design program that I was introduced to in my first internship. I was able to work on and address issues that our clients had on road rehabilitations and other road projects. There were quite a few tips and tricks that my coworkers showed me that really helped improve my AutoCAD skills and overall efficiency when it came to completing tasks. In addition to increasing my AutoCAD experience, I started to learn how to use MicroStation which is another design program. This program is used specifically for designing structures like bridges and projects for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). While the program was different from AutoCAD, I was able to adapt to it and complete jobs including drawing existing framework for a bridge, create sheets with important design details, and edit designs to make sure they were correct. The information and skills I learned during my internship are so valuable and something that will really help me in the future. 

In addition to this, the company offered meeting times for interns from all departments to come together and learn more about some of the basics of the engineering industry. I really gained a lot from these meetings. It helped me be able to problem solve and find answers to questions on my own instead of running to a coworker. Overall, my internship experience was amazing from all of the information I learned, the wonderful and kind people that I worked with, and the priceless real-world experience I received. I would recommend the All Akron Student Engineering Program to any student even if they aren’t looking to go into this field because of the amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a young professional. 

Head Start in Engineering

Head Start in Engineering 

By: Kathryn Burns

As my second internship with the amazing AASEP is drawing to a close, I have taken a moment to reflect on this time. This summer internship has been such a valuable experience for me and all those who participated. It has allowed me to gain knowledge and an in depth understanding of the engineering industry. 

Prior to this program, I had never considered a career in engineering because of the misconceptions I had about it. All I knew about civil engineering before AASEP was that there is a lot of math involved and that not many women choose the field of engineering. These internships have allowed me to see how multifaceted the engineering industry is. 

It has really helped with my networking skills, learning programs and problem solving in a real-world setting, as well as teaching me better communication skills in a professional environment. The AASEP has been very helpful to give us a head start to develop ourselves as professionals in the engineering workforce.

Pictures are from a tour at the Water Reclamation Facility 

Thank you AASEP

Thank you AASEP

By: Brando Martinez 

Img 7745Brando Martinez, pictured on left. 

During my time in the AASEP meetings I had a blast!! Each presenter brought their own personality to their presentation, each meeting had their own little project which challenged us and forced us to collaborate with each other even though we had never talked beforehand. I learned a lot from the program and was able to make new friends. AASEP helped me be a well-rounded student and prepare me for my internship.  This program helped a lot of students around Akron and gives us not just exposure to what we will be expecting as engineers, but also with other jobs in our future. AASEP helped us grow as students and become more mature. I would like to thank Johnathan Simmons for hosting a great program, making students more responsible, and helping build us into future engineers.