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Pamela Rice always loved working with her hands, solving problems and creating new things, so when she discovered engineering while studying at Union College in Schenectady, New York, she knew she wanted to pursue it as a career.

“At the end of one of my courses, we were grouped into teams of three to complete a design project of our own choosing,” Rice said. “It was during that project that I realized I enjoyed what I was doing and wanted to pursue engineering. I loved being hands on and working to take an idea and build an actual product I could hold and use. I appreciate the problem solving and teamwork that comes with engineering work.”

After graduating from Union in 2019, Rice landed a spot in Eversource’s Engineering Professional Development Program. She moved to Hartford in July 2020 to begin the unique employment opportunity with a group of about 20 other participants. The program allows both full-time and internship-level participants to work with mentors and rotate through different areas like electrical distribution engineering, grid modernization, and transmission line and civil engineering. The energy company is currently taking applications for Summer 2022 interns and engineering positions.

“Working at Eversource has been eye-opening,” she said. “I had no previous experience at a utility before joining the program, and I didn’t fully understand how much work was involved delivering electricity to customers. I have been able to see projects go from concepts on paper to completed projects and the many steps it took in between for that to happen.”

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After completing multiple month-long rotations through several different areas of the company, Rice was offered a full-time position in Eversource’s Asset Management department which focuses on transmission substation projects. Her role is to help initiate projects and programs, working across several departments to secure funding throughout the various stages of a project. As she starts out in her new position, she urges others, especially women to explore careers in engineering.

“Follow your curiosity,” she said. “You’ll never know if something interests you until you give it a try. The support I received through this program helped to build my confidence in my abilities and the direction I wanted my career to go.”

According to the National Foundation of Professional Engineers (NSPE), National Engineers Weeks is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. It runs from February 20 – 26.