Tucson Electric Power marked a milestone this year by sponsoring its 100th internship for students from a local high school, one of the many internship opportunities at our company.

In 2006, TEP became one of the first local businesses to join San Miguel High School’s Corporate Work Study Program, which is required as part of students’ studies.

San Miguel is a private, Catholic school that caters to students from families with limited incomes. Students earn 40 percent of their tuition through the internships and receive other financial assistance.

TEP offers internships as a way to develop future leaders, support education in our community and develop a pipeline for future employees. In addition to the San Miguel program, TEP provides internships for college students and adult professionals, including teachers and military service members.

From San Miguel, four interns each work five days a month at TEP, and each student can work for up to four years.

“It’s an awesome program where students learn business skills, build on communication skills and see the value of quality teamwork,” said Nancy Hughes, Corporate Accounting Assistant for TEP who has supervised interns since the program started.

One of Hughes’ interns is Sayara Sandoval, who will begin her fourth year with TEP as a high school senior this fall. Sayara was quiet when she first started, but she became an outgoing member of the team.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s opened up so many opportunities and opened my personality and thinking,” said Sayara, who plans to join the U.S. Air Force after high school. “You get a feel for the real world and how it’s going to be.”

Another intern is Jose Mungarro, who will be a junior this fall. In addition to his internship in Human Resources during the school year, Jose has a summer job in TEP engineering to learn more about the career that he wants to pursue.

After graduation, Jose plans to attend the University of Arizona so he can continue to work at TEP during breaks and summers – something many San Miguel interns do. He hopes to work at TEP after college.

“This internship program has benefited me the past two years. It has introduced me to the workplace and they’ve treated me more as an adult than a student,” Jose said.

San Miguel students are among more than 50 interns who work at TEP at any given time. Most TEP interns are college juniors and seniors who are majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. Intern partnerships include:

  • Junior Achievement
  • Goodwill of Southern Arizona’s GoodFutures Youth Program
  • Pima Community College
  • University of Arizona
  • Online programs of Arizona State, Northern Arizona and Grand Canyon universities
  • Teachers In Industryparticipants through local school districts

In addition, TEP provides internships for military service members who are transitioning into the civilian workforce through a partnership with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, called the Career Skills Program. Some participants are offered permanent jobs at TEP.

The partners are grateful for TEP’s support of internships.

“TEP identifies the strengths and passions of their student workers and nurtures those areas by giving them related opportunities to grow,” said Samantha Miller, San Miguel’s Vice President of Corporate Work Study Operations. “TEP trusts in the process of student workplace placements and growth, and they believe in investing in the future of Tucson.”

Learn more about San Miguel’s Corporate Work Study Program. For more information, contact Miller at millers@sanmiguelhigh.org.