Exploring the Essential Internship Experience

Summer internships are a helpful and arguably critical asset for students looking to enter the workforce after graduation. While internships can help boost resumes or set candidates apart, a good internship is designed to help future employees learn about their fields of interest in real-time, before jumping into full-time careers.

Essential aims to educate individuals interested in working in the utilities industries by offering an intensive 12-week summer internship experience. Our diverse program allows students to take on roles in a variety of departments across the organization, offering them hands-on experience that put classroom learnings to work.

This month we spoke with three of our 2022 summer interns to discuss their various experiences working at Aqua and Peoples, what they've learned so far and what advice they have to offer students considering future internships at Essential.

Sharon Lin is heading into her sophomore year at Pace University, where she studies marketing. She is spending her summer as an intern at Aqua Bryn Mawr in the facilities and mailroom departments. While Sharon is still exploring career options, her experience at Aqua has given her new insight into paths in the business and entertainment industries.

Leah Bowden is an incoming senior at Penn State University. She majors in chemical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. She is currently interning in the engineering department at Peoples’ North Shore location. Leah’s goal is to help people and change the world. She now sees Essential’s employees working daily to do just that.

Trevor McFadden is a rising junior at West Virginia University, where he studies energy land management. This summer he is busy interning in the land department at Peoples’ North Shore location. After graduating Trevor hopes to apply his new skills to a career in land process of mineral rights and land negotiation.

Describe your overall experience interning at Essential.

SL: "I've had a wonderful experience, really getting a chance to learn how the company operates. Seeing how each department works together has enabled me to understand the big picture while also gaining technical experience. I’ve been able to spend time in multiple departments, putting faces to names and getting hands-on experience with a variety of jobs, which has been great.”

LB: “My first week here I was told this would be my ‘family’ for the summer, and that couldn’t have been truer. I’ve learned from so many different people – from engineers to corporate employees. I've been able to work in the office and in the field. I had the chance to look for abandoned wells in wooded areas of my hometown – which is like looking for buried treasure! I also went to Mount Washington to look at regulator stations. I’ve truly gotten a taste of everything!”

TM: “This internship has been fantastic. I’ve had so many opportunities to gain real-world expertise by working alongside seasoned professionals. You can’t learn these things in the classroom. Hearing and seeing this experience is a whole different world.”

What skills and abilities do young students need to be successful during an internship?

SL: “You have to be good at multitasking –– with so much going on you need to stay organized and be on time. Pay attention to those who are teaching you something – you'll want to recall those teachings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And get to know the people. Be sure to interact, connect and branch out."

LB: "Go into your internship with a willingness to learn new things. Be open to new experiences and be sure to ask questions.”

TM: “Time management and organization are definitely important qualities for a successful internship.”

What are some skills you have developed since being with Essential?

SL: “I’ve definitely learned about the importance of time management. I’ve also come to understand the importance of communicating well and staying in contact with your manager. Even the interview process alone taught me about myself and my personal growth."

LB: "I’ve learned so much about communications. I've learned how to write professional emails and I feel comfortable participating in professional interactions. I’ve also improved my technical skills and my excel skills.”

TM: "I’ve really enhanced my organizational skills. My computer skills have also improved quite a bit since my internship began.”

Why should other students consider an internship/seasonal role with Essential?

SL: “Overall, this has been such a great experience. The company culture is great, and everyone is willing to help. The whole team will guide you through anything you need.”

LB: “Essential gives you an experience that is completely different than other internships. You’re not just sitting in the office –– you’re shadowing different people and getting exposure to so many different groups. I even had a chance to meet the [Peoples] president, [Mike Huwar]. You’re really in it.”

TM: "You’ll make incredible connections. You'll have the chance to work at a large company with a diverse group of people in different walks of life."

Thank you, Sharon, Leah and Trevor, for speaking about your experiences and sharing insight for future interns. We’re thrilled with the progress and contributions you've made at Essential, and we know you have much to look forward to during the remainder of your time at Aqua and Peoples.