Field Work and Office Experience
By: Keeremat Melaiye
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.
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.