It all adds up!
Julia Truong has always loved math. With her father’s encouragement, and some great National Grid training, she discovered something she loves even more: applying her math and analytical skills to real-world engineering projects. The wonderful news for Julia – and us – is that next month she’ll get to do just that, as our first Engineering Pipeline Program (EPP) scholar to become a full-time National Grid employee. While every student’s path is different, hers is a shining success story of a person who found her calling and met our company’s needs at the same time.
Julia caught the engineering bug back in the summer of her junior year in high school, while attending the Engineering Pipeline Program. “One of our EPP activities was to build a solar model car. I absolutely loved working with the solar panels. They were beautiful to look at. Plus it was so neat to know I could help create sustainable energy sources for the future.”
Another summer of EPP, and several internships in various departments over the past four years, sealed the deal for Julia … sparking the interest that had been growing all through high school:
“The more I learned about electrical engineering, the more I knew it was for me. And I learned so much!” Like how electricity flows through equipment, how mechanical and electrical work together, how substations and transformers work, and how to keep power sources stable and prevent system damage. “I got to see all the equipment close-up and often, which really gave practical meaning to everything I learned.”
“Julia represents exactly the type of new, young talent we’re looking for to help build our company into a premier utility of the future,” says Don Stuart, Manager, Academy Technical L&D. “She’s smart, she’s enthusiastic, she’s motivated, and she received nothing but the highest marks from all the managers she worked for in both the EPP and her National Grid internships.”
And Julia feels just as lucky for the experiences she’s gained and the people she’s met: “I love being challenged and my managers would challenge me to come up with ‘out-of-the-box’ mathematical solutions to real issues. Then they would let me know how the concepts and programs I presented were being used in the field. It was very exciting to see that what I was doing was making a real difference, and to see ‘my calculations in action.’ It’s also been great to work with people who are so incredibly helpful and responsive whenever I’ve had questions about anything.”
Julia is graduating, early, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) this month. And she will officially take up residence in Res Woods as a full-time associate engineer in our Control & Integration department January 4.
“My experiences at National Grid helped me decide two things: 1) that I wanted to be an engineer; and 2) that I specifically wanted to focus on electrical engineering so I could work on sustainable projects like distributed generation.”
As Don sums it up, “Julia is a living example of the whole purpose of the Engineering Pipeline Program – to show students how their talents and interests can translate into careers at National Grid. And to provide us with a future ‘pipeline’ of engineers to successfully run our business. It’s a win-win if ever there was one.”
Catch up with us in a few months when we check back to see how Julia’s doing on-the-job.
And click here to learn more about Our Academy’s Engineering Pipeline Program.