Fresh perspective from a summer intern

Hawaiian Electric
3 min readNov 13, 2023

by Emily Miyashiro | Aug. 3, 2023

Every summer, Hawaiian Electric hires a diverse group of interns to gain real-life experience. This year is no different. From aspiring electrical engineers to passionate business professionals, the 2023 summer interns bring a fresh perspective and a thirst for knowledge. Throughout the summer, interns get the opportunity to utilize their degrees in a professional setting and immerse themselves in the utilities or energy industry.

As a marketing major, I never imagined that I would be interning at a utilities company, especially since my degree did not seem directly related to the industry. When I first thought about applying for an internship at Hawaiian Electric, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I had some doubts about whether they would have a position that would align with my interests and skills. To my surprise, there was a marketing position under the Emergency Planning and Preparedness department. I am so happy I applied because this opportunity has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Interns at the Waiau Power Plant tour

All summer interns toured the Waiau Power Plant where we witnessed the company operations firsthand. It was a unique experience for all of us because we were able to gain a deeper understanding of how a power plant works.

Customer engineering intern Ashley Membrere

Every intern’s day-to-day tasks at Hawaiian Electric are very different. Ashley Membrere, a senior at California Lutheran University, assists and shadows planners of different levels as a customer engineer intern. Ashley’s typical day in the office is spent juggling between different projects! A project Ashley is currently working on is the conversion of overhead electrical systems to underground for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.

Baylie Rodrigues, a junior at Chapman University, completes Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) testing of internal controls of various departments in the company. Baylie’s typical day in the office is spent sending document requests to individuals of each department and ensuring that everything is accurate and various controls are in place for review.

In comparison, as a marketing intern for Emergency Planning and Preparedness, I research and write newsletters regarding topics such as hurricane preparedness as well as organizing internal giveaways. I quickly learned that my marketing knowledge brought a fresh perspective to the table and marketing actually plays a crucial role in the company’s outreach, communication, and engagement with not only customers but with employees as well. In fact, effective marketing strategies were integral in communicating the company’s efforts to help the Hawaiian Electric ‘ohana and customers prepare for emergencies. Needless to say, my passion for crafting engaging content leveraging creative designs found a new purpose in the context of the utility industry.

Despite having three very different positions, we all shared one thing in common. We love the opportunity to be exposed to different departments within the company. In our roles, we get to interact with various individuals across the company.

“I love having the opportunity to work with other people from different departments because it allows me to get a better idea of how the entire company functions,” Baylie said.

I couldn’t agree more! I regularly work with digital communications and the social media team to learn and share my ideas. This helps us establish meaningful connections and gain better understanding of how each department contributes as a crucial piece of the puzzle for the company’s success.

There’s a wide range of positions at Hawaiian Electric, so I highly recommend college students to apply to be a summer intern, regardless of your major. Be sure to look out for postings to submit an application for 2024 starting November of this year. You’ll have an opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience. Embrace this chance to work alongside talented professionals before you enter the first stages of your career!

Emily Miyashiro is a summer intern for safety and emergency planning & preparedness at Hawaiian Electric Company.

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Hawaiian Electric

Established in 1891, Hawaiian Electric is committed to empowering its customers and communities by providing affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy.