Overcoming adversity: Meet National Grid’s Michael Brodsky
Michael Brodsky – son of Ed Brodsky, Director, IS Customer Service Manager – Customer/Shared Services/Corporate Functions – is an intern working at the dispatch center on Long Island. Though Michael was born with the neuromuscular disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy, he has not allowed the condition to limit his ability to excel: he performed very well throughout high school and was later accepted to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
National Grid has provided Michael with an opportunity to work and learn in a corporate environment, make connections with coworkers, and grow professionally. He sits at a desk that does not limit him, enabling Michael to work to his full potential here at National Grid.
We decided to have a short Q&A with Michael to get his view of what it’s like to work at National Grid as a person with a disability:
Q1: To start off, we were hoping you could give us a brief overview of what your responsibilities are working at the Gas Dispatch Center in Melville.
A1: I have had a variety of responsibilities this summer. I analyze data to improve worker efficiency – in terms of number of workers and number of jobs per worker. I plan updates and upgrades to existing databases for ease of use, and I attend and observe meetings such as the Good Operations Meeting in Hewlett.
Q2: What have you seen as the biggest challenges and/or opportunities of working in your position?
A2: I have found the greatest challenge to be finding innovative ways to improve existing systems that are already in place, as well as learning new software – such as MicroStrategy – and business terms related to the industry. However, I also find these challenges to be the greatest opportunities, as they allow me to grow as a learner analyst, and young professional.
Q3: How have you found the environment at National Grid? Has it been welcoming?
A3: The environment at National Grid has been excellent. Everybody that I have encountered, both formally and informally, has been extremely nice and welcoming, and they encourage me to ask questions and provide input.
Q4: What are you learning?
A4: By being in the Gas Dispatch Center, I am learning how to work in an exciting, fast-paced environment. I am able to see how to efficiently run a department by observing how management and dispatchers work together. Additionally, I have learned what it’s like to work in a utility, including the importance of complying with government regulators such as the Public Service Commission. Also, I am learning more about how to analyze trends and how to apply that information to benefit the company in both financial and practical matters.
Q5: What is/are your favorite part(s) about working at National Grid? How does it compare to other internships/summer jobs/summer activities you’ve had?
A5: I have really enjoyed working with the people at National Grid. I have yet to encounter anyone who has made the experience unpleasant in any way. Additionally, I have enjoyed participating in and observing meetings, as it has given me the greatest insight into everything that is required to make the operations as smooth and successful as possible. Last summer, I interned at a small start-up company in New York City. Although I enjoyed both experiences, interning at National Grid has provided greater opportunity to learn about working in a corporate setting.
Q6: How did you become interested in the energy industry?
A6: I find the energy industry to be exciting as it is constantly evolving with new forms of cost-efficient, environmentally friendly energy. Additionally, my dad has worked for the company since 1989, and has enjoyed his experience, encouraging me to apply for the internship opportunity.
Q7: What opportunities does this internship provide for future career goals? What do you hope to do in the future?
A7: As I approach my senior year at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, studying Management and Finance, I am contemplating how I want to spend my career, as those are both very broad ‘concentrations’ – mini-majors within a B.S. in Economics. However, I intend to narrow my search down by the time I return to school in late August. This internship has provided me with tremendous exposure to management, operations, and even some finance via analysis for cost-saving strategies.