Exelon internships offer great opportunities to students

Adekemi Kasali, News Editor

Two students from Anthony Svozil’s College Engineering class have been selected for a summer internship at an Exelon nuclear plant in Warrenville, Illinois. They are Lily Callen and Jide Babawale.

The Exelon summer engineering internship is a 10 week program in which approximately 125 students are chosen to fill the paid positions. H-F is the only high school in the country to participate in the program as college students are normally hired for these positions.

In order to be eligible to apply, you must be a senior and in the College Engineering class.
The internship allows students to gain work experience, network with peers, and experience what it’s like to be an engineer.

Upon learning of his acceptance Babawale said he was “happy and surprised” to be given this opportunity.

“Besides the money, I’m excited about the fact that, since Exelon is so big, I will be working with people who are actual engineers and have made it. It’s surreal,” he said.

Babawale plans to study bioengineering in college and applied for the internship because he found that it would be a great opportunity for him, especially since this program isn’t normally for high school students.

Callen, the other recipient of the internship, plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; she believes the internship will help her achieve her career goals.

“I will be able to get professional experience in engineering,” Callen said. “I will experience a real work day and by connecting with engineers, I will be able to set a name for myself.”

Exelon recruiters Monika Gryko and Samantha Kessler interviewed 11 students for the two spots on Feb. 14.

“H-F has a really great stem program and that’s what attracted us to this school and why we come here year after year,” Kessler said.

During the internship students will work on different projects, research, and coding, which are all valuable to the company.

This all leads to a final presentation that is hosted by vice presidents of the company and students will get a chance to present their projects to them.

“We want people who want to work hard and want to spend their time somewhere they’re actually doing valuable work and getting hands on experience,” Kessler said.

After the internship, some students get the opportunity to be hired for a full time position at Exelon. Gryko and Kessler said the internship is one of the most important things the company does.

“We hire a lot of interns after graduating from college,” Gryko said. “This internship is a really great way to network, especially with management if you are hoping to get into the industry.”

Svozil said the partnership between H-F and Exelon started in the summer of 2015. During the fall of 2014 Svozil, along with some administrators and teachers, toured one of Exelon’s plants in Illinois.

“On the tour a comment was made that Exelon was going to be faced with a number of retirements. The tour guide then mentioned their internship programs and a couple days after the tour I asked if they would consider involving graduating high school seniors. It took a while since I asked in September and they didn’t make a decision until April.”

Svozil also said since the beginning of the partnership H-F students that have become a “known quantity” at Exelon.

“The Senior VP of Exelon made the comment that you can’t really tell the H-F graduates from the undergraduates that have completed their freshman and sophomore year. A number of the interns have been invited back after the summer of their freshman and sophomore year of college” Svozil said.
Svozil said he hopes more students apply for the internship and that Exelon offers more positions for interns in the future.