Knowledge of career opportunities

Has your knowledge of career opportunities changed as a result of your
internship experience? Please explain.


I now know there are different career possibilities within cooperatives such as TriCounty EMC other than a lineman job.  There are opportunities within these companies for students to acquire without a college degree and some that require a college degree.  This provides opportunities for those who want to seek a career right after high school and for those who plan to continue their education before beginning a career.

New Position

I have been hired as an Assistant Principal at Wallace-Rose Hill High School in Wallace, NC.  I am extremely excited to be in this new position and to be able to work with teachers and students from this new perspective!  Go Dogs!!!!


Carolina Country magazine article

I was asked to write an article on my experience with Tri-County EMC for the Carolina Country magazine.  Below is what I submitted:


As an educator for the past 10 years I understand the importance of providing students with relevant and engaging classroom experiences.  The Kenan Fellows program and Tri-County EMC have provided the opportunity for me to explore the various cooperative business operations and work alongside those who build and support the electric infrastructure that powers our community.  The partnership with Tri-County EMC provides the opportunity for me to bring the outside world into the classroom.  I have been able to see what I teach my students in action and will be able to bring those experiences back to the classroom.  I will be able to show students the protective gear lineman must wear when working up in the bucket and why they must wear that protective equipment.  I can also show students how electricity moves in currents.  Students can solve for current, voltage, and resistance in circuits.  I  can teach students how to calculate the power bill for a family using differing amounts of electricity for a month.  Students can also use Tri-County EMC’s Home Energy Advisor tool to analyze the energy efficiency of their home and learn how to become more energy efficient.  

In science classes students learn the future will bring the need for more sustainable energy.  Working with the engineers of Tri-County gave me the opportunity to learn about the pros and cons of solar farms and swine farms utilizing biodigesters to turn swine waste into electricity.  I will be able to take this information back to students in order to begin constructive conversations on finding solutions for creating sustainable energy.

Everyone I have worked with at Tri-County EMC is nice, helpful, and very knowledgeable of their area of work.  I have also learned the continuous work the cooperative does to give back to the community and its members by helping fire departments, educators, community members in need, and much more.  You can rest assured if you are a member of Tri-County, every single employee of this cooperative is working to provide the best for the members and the community.  Every decision made is with the best interest of the members in mind.

Internship with Tri-County EMC

Day 1

  • Met with the employee in charge of each department of Tri-County
  • Facts of Tri-County
    • Service in 7 counties
    • About 24,000 members
    • 43 employees
    • 40 work vehicles
    • Maintain 2,625 miles of lines
  • Tri-County office has fully functional kitchen, rooms to sleep, workout rooms in case there is a need for employees to stay an extended period of time in case of a storm.
  • At the end of the year money left over goes back to members (around $2 million)
  • 2019 revenue was $58 million
  • $42.5 million paid for power
  • 1 of 26 Cooperatives in state
  • Lowest electric rates in the state
  • Communications and Customer Service
    • Operation Roundup
      • Financially help a person in need.
    • High School NC Electric Cooperatives Youth Tour
      • 1 week trip to D.C. for free each year
    • Middle school sports camp scholarship

Day 2

  • Accounting
    • Every department is connected to accounting
  • IT
    • Focus on breach prevention
    • Setting up backups to prevent down time

Day 3 Statewide Virtual Day

  • 7 cooperative principles
    • Voluntary & open membership
    • Democratic member control
    • Members’ economic participation
    • Autonomy & independence
    • Education training & information
    • Cooperation among cooperatives
    • Concern for community
  • TEMA sales
    • 2019 $124,425,358
    • 2020 ~$537,000 in sales per business day
  • Florence hurricane was busiest storm for supplies from TEMA
  • Must manage material flow to all cooperatives in preparation for hurricanes so there aren’t cooperatives without supplies because a few have a majority of supplies.
  • Weather is the greatest driver of variability in electricity use.
  • Greatest amount of electricity is used during summer.

Day 4     Member Services

  • Assistance with transferring, connecting, and disconnecting accounts.
  • Working with members who need payment extensions.
  • Helping customers receive the capital credits of deceased family members.  The longer a person is a member and the larger their electric bills are the more capital credits they accrue.
  • With the smart meters, electricity can be turned on or off from the office without sending anyone out to a location

Day 5 

  • Front desk
    • Answer phones and drive thru
    • Take payments via phone, mail, drive thru

Day 6 Engineering

  • . Set up paperwork for new connections and service calls.
  • Look at setup of substations, solar farms, biodigesters

Day 7 Substation tour

Day 8 Lineman Day

  • Work in bucket on new connection
  • Trenching
  • Pulling underground lines
  • Putting in a meter for new service

Day 9 Right of way crew

  • Trimming trees
  • Mulching limbs

Day 10 Filming day

  • Changing out an insulator on a pole in bucket
  • Putting on an elbow for underground wire
  • Mulching tree limbs

Day 11 Billing

Day 12 Warehouse

  • Pulling parts for jobs for the next day
  • Organizing supplies with the forklift

Summer Institute

The summer institute was an awesome way to connect with other fellows.  I really enjoyed the scavenger hunt, which is something I would like to introduce to the staff at my school for remote learning.  I also really enjoyed the discussions on equity and diversity.  Listening to the experiences other fellows have had with diversity gave me knew perspective.  I am excited to have made these new friends in the Kenan Fellows Program.  I am also really excited about my internship beginning next week with Tri County.  I am ready to learn about all the different pieces of this company and how I can take what I learn back to the community and school.