College students are adapting and flourishing under work-from-home rules necessitated by the pandemic.
Not even the coronavirus could stop PSEG Long Island from providing students valuable professional experience. Unlike many companies that canceled their summer internship programs in the wake of the pandemic, PSEG Long Island preserved its longstanding program – using a virtual model to help ensure the safety of the interns and our employees. The 2020 internship class is telecommuting, much like hundreds of other PSEG Long Island employees, as the company goes about its business differently because of COVID-19.
“Remote working skills are more important now that the coronavirus has changed how we work,” said Linda J., Human Resources senior specialist-Talent Acquisition. “This was not the time to cancel the program. We just needed to redesign the program and do things differently so that we could still provide a valuable learning experience while keeping safety front and center.”
Ten students, representing nine colleges and universities – from as near as Stony Brook, New York, to as far as Newark, Delaware – are bringing to the table exciting skills and backgrounds from various industries, including finance, law and communications. And each is demonstrating that they can definitely experience a fulfilling virtual intern experience, and gain valuable professional experience, by building connections with their peers and other employees at the company, and learning new tools ─ remotely.
Jeanine C. is spending her summer supporting PSEG Long Island’s Finance department. The Pace University student, who interviewed for the position via a WebEx conference call, has spent less than a half hour on company property. “I did have to report to the Bethpage facility, where IT took a mere 15 minutes with me, setting up my laptop and configuring it with all the tools I needed to work from home,” she said. “But I’ve been training remotely, taking advantage of phone, instant messaging (IM) and WebEx meetings.” The accounting student, who is also preparing for her MS in Finance, said that the screen-sharing component of IM has been especially helpful for her training.
While the remote experience is not exactly what Jeanine had expected or hoped for, the intern said that it is still providing a valuable opportunity. “I am still networking,” she said, “and my team has been very helpful and welcoming. I am learning different tools that are teaching me how to telecommute effectively, which is so important right now.”
Shannon J. shares many of Jeanine’s sentiments. A Brooklyn Law School student, Shannon is interning in the Legal department and relies on phone, email and virtual meetings for her training. “It has been a pleasure meeting and speaking to my team virtually,” she said, adding that everyone has been supportive in helping her to have a valuable educational experience this summer. The intern has also had the opportunity to participate in WebEx meetings with her New Jersey PSEG law clerk counterparts and has “met” employees from all over the enterprise. Shannon, who had the benefit of interning onsite for PSEG Long Island in 2017 in the Community Partnership Program, agreed that learning to work remotely is critical in today’s world. “With the way things are right now, it is very possible that this could be a new normal for a lot of people, and being well adapted to this new way of business is a great skill to have.”
“The pandemic hasn’t changed the fact that interns are critical to creating our pipeline to future, permanent employment,” said Linda. “COVID-19 just made the process of training and networking more challenging.”
Please join us in welcoming our intern class of summer 2020.
Good luck to all of you!