The quality of assignments, leadership opportunities, real-life experience and networking opportunities. It is one thing to read things in a text book at school, but to come in the office and to put them into play was priceless.
My coworkers are amazing and were phenomenal mentors along the way. The office culture and flexibility is second to none. I was accepted for a five week exchange program in India and my boss may have been even more excited than I was and did not even question holding my intern position open for me to return to. It also was a non-issue when I returned with my nose pierced because Consumers Energy has a very accepting culture and encourages diversity.
They let me work as much or as little as I needed depending on my school load (18-60 hours/week). We were not only compensated well for our hourly wages, I was paid time and a half for anything over 40 hours.
If students interned from out of town, Consumers Energy paid for them to have an apartment in town during their internship. We also have 24/7 access to the building and gym.
I absolutely loved the Summer Intern Challenge. We were tasked with partnering with a local non-profit organization to help them do something that they do not have the resources to accomplish. We worked with an assigned team, met a lot of people, made a big difference and then presented our project to panel of judges and our peers.
I honestly cannot think of anything I did not like about this internship experience.
Advice to Potential Interns
I can honestly say that going into college, working for a utility industry was not an option I had considered. Consumers Energy offers a wide variety of challenging work from IT, engineering, lab services, marketing and communications, regulations, human resources, and more.
They have many employees that have worked at the company for decades and were given the opportunity to have complete career changes without leaving. Consumers Energy is dedicated to Michigan, local communities and are working on being leaders in customer service. There are always challenging projects to get involved in.
Another great thing about working for Consumers Energy is that they give matching grants to organizations that employees donate to and additional grants to organizations that employees volunteer their time at. Consumers Energy is extremely accepting of different cultures and are dedicated to diversity with groups like the Minority Advisory Panel, Women Advisory Panel, Together Employees Advising Management and others.
While you can work here with dreadlocks, tattoos, facial piercings, etc., Consumers Energy embraces diversity as a whole and the different skills, personalities, educational background and capabilities that their employees bring to the table.
Advice to Management
Technology for working remotely could be better utilized. Employees can get on the network through the VPN and phone into meetings, but having the capability to attend a meeting through an online video chat would be beneficial. Especially when working from out of the country when phone calls are expensive.