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Internships with meaning

Article was added on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do you know of any businesses that could use a little extra labor for a few months? I sure do. In fact, millions of people in today's workforce got their start with an internship-a short stint working for a semester or a summer at a job they would like to pursue as a career.

At Santee Electric Cooperative, we offer a variety of internships that cover a wide range of areas, including accounting, communications, engineering, member services and other areas. We do this because internships provide many benefits -for the intern and the employer.

Internships give students the opportunity to check out possible career options, and they give the employer an opportunity to check out the intern to see if they would be a good fit for the business, post-graduation.

Interns should receive value from their employer, and vice versa. For this reason, it is recommended that interns either receive academic credit or payment for their work.

One area that may be particularly ripe for today's intern is social media-meaning Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others. Every business from Apple to your local florist, including Santee Electric Cooperative, has a need for social media. Every business wants to connect to their customers (or members in the case of co-ops) and get them more engaged.

Through engagement, we can turn one-time customers into repeat customers, and repeat customers can become promoters of our business by telling their friends and family. In the world of social media, you can have hundreds or even thousands of "friends." And since young people have grown up with social media, they understand what works and what doesn't, which can add great value to your business.

According to recent research from Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, more than 50 percent of 18-54 year-old electric co-op members are active on social media. While the numbers for older people are lower, they continue to increase every year.

Whatever your need may be at your business, non-profit or cooperative, there is likely a young person with the skills you are looking for. Give him/her a chance. It's likely your business will benefit, and you may even sway a young person to plant roots right here in our local community. This could be the start of a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

Floyd L. Keels
President and Chief Executive Officer 

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