Hands-on Work Experience Expands the Skills of Electrical Engineering Interns

Internships are invaluable opportunities for the next generation of electrical engineers to bridge the gap between their theoretical knowledge and real-world applications in the electricity industry. By working at Edison over the summer, interns gain insight into the electricity industry and the career possibilities that await them.

Edison welcomed two new interns, Lucas Gray and Jack Malcolm, over the summer of 2023/2024, along with Daniel O’Connor, who returned for a second year. They share their experiences.

Lucas Gray | Auckland Intern

  • Final year studying towards a Bachelor (Hons) in Electrical Engineering
  • A keen runner and adventure motorcyclist

During his 11-week internship, Lucas worked with the Design team, updating electrical drawings in AutoCAD, running simulations using the Power Factory simulator for fault studies, and supporting the team by contributing to various projects.

For Lucas, the internship was not just about learning technical skills; “I got the opportunity to interact with clients and colleagues, honing my communication and relationship-building skills. I think these are just as important as developing technical knowledge, and good soft skills can take you further in life.”

Working in a supportive and collaborative environment made all the difference. “People are really accessible and will go out of their way to help – I can just roll my chair over and chat to someone to get the help I need.”

Lucas’ top tip for future interns: Focus on developing your soft skills during an internship. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can’t communicate your ideas it doesn’t matter.

Jack Malcolm | Wellington Intern

  • Third year studying towards a Bachelor Electrical Engineering, minor in Power Engineering
  • A football fanatic, playing for Christchurch’s Western FC and a supporter of English Premier League team Arsenal

The internship was Jack’s first office-based job, giving him an insight into collaborating with others, learning how office environments operate and getting to observe Project Managers’ roles in action each day. He worked on a variety of initiatives including AutoCAD markups and creating financial automation tools for project managers. “I’ve had a really good balance of work, where I’ve learned about projects at a high level and then got right into the details on the design side.”

The electricity industry appeals to Jack because of its conceptual nature “You can’t see electricity, so it is about trusting the engineering and that makes it intriguing compared to other types of engineering where you can see the output.”

Jack’s internship experience has piqued his interest in working for a consultancy or asset owner once he graduates. “I’ve really broadened my experience and understanding of the electricity industry” he explains.

Jack’s top tip for future interns: Ask lots of questions and invest time getting to know the people you are working with. Working consultancy side is very people focused so relationships are key.

Daniel O’Connor | Christchurch Intern

  • Final year of a Bachelor (Hons) in Electrical Engineering, minor in Power Engineering
  • Active participant in the Arts Community at the University of Canterbury as the President of the Musical Theatre Society.

Daniel O'Connor, in his second internship at Edison, was responsible for design work, automation tools for report generation, and quality assurance tasks. His exposure to various projects and clients allowed him to build on the skills he developed last year. “This year I’ve learnt how to overcome challenges, troubleshoot and solve problems.”

The decision to return to Edison for a second year was based on the culture and variety of work: “Edison is such a great place to work. There is variety in the clients and work you get exposed to, and flexible working. I would love to work at Edison after graduating if I go down the consulting route.”

Daniel enjoyed the camaraderie within the team and the opportunity to learn new things in the industry to build on the experience he had already gained.

Daniel’s top tip for future interns: Focus on relationship building and networking and be proactive by applying your problem-solving skills to challenges you come across.

Edison is committed to actively developing New Zealand’s next generation of Electrical Engineering talent. A proud Power Engineering Excellence Trust (PEET) member, we will again attend the University of Canterbury Power Careers Event in 2024.

Interested in 2024/2025 internship opportunities at Edison? Get in touch with Tani Hansen.