Energy New England Internship has the Makings of a Great Partnership
Two Girard School seniors are doing an internship at Energy New England, working to improve its marketing, social media, and website. It’s the first internship partnership between the school and ENE, where executive vice president Vincent Ragucci III ’86 had originally set out to hire only one intern. Ragucci had met with several candidates before interviewing Brian Balkus ’16 and David Chance ’16.
“About halfway through the second interview, I was so impressed with the complementary qualities of both students that I thought maybe I could make this a team project and hire both,” he said. With approval from the chief executive officer and board of directors, he did.
“They were both dressed for success, came prepared to ask me questions about Energy New England and the assignment, and showed a passion and enthusiasm for the job,” Ragucci said.
ENE, based in Foxborough, provides wholesale and retail energy services, conducts more than $300 million in structured transactions annually and offers conservation and efficiency services for the regional public power community.
For ENE, Balkus and Chance will interview employees, learn about the business, develop concepts and strategies that reflect the company’s new direction, and develop the content that will make up a new website, social media, and collateral material, Ragucci said. They will also assist him with developing a re-branding plan and may present the final project to the board.
The interns took initiative from the beginning and became full participants in business meetings right from the start.
“Unprompted and to the surprise of the executive team, Brian and David handed out their own ‘first impressions’ sheets at our first organizational meeting,” Ragucci said. “They gave honest opinions of their thoughts of our website, LinkedIn corporate page, and lack of a Twitter page, and really started to dig into why they were working on this and what they wanted to do. We were all pleasantly surprised.”
Exposure to top management so early in the internship was unexpected, says Chance, who is majoring in business with a double concentration in marketing and sport management.
“My biggest surprise so far is how accessible and welcoming the top executives of Energy New England have been,” Chance said. “Brian and I have already had the opportunity to meet with the CEO, both executive vice presidents, and the executive assistant. Going into this internship I never would have envisioned having this great opportunity to meet all of the top executives this early in my experience, which has been very rewarding so far.”
They have quickly learned “the ins and outs of what really occurs within the company,” said Balkus, also majoring in business.
“Looking from the outside in, it seems as if Energy New England is just a renewable energy company. While that is correct, there are a tremendous number of other activities that occur at both the headquarters and out in the community, from consulting to landfill gas, from navigating the energy economy to financial incentives,” he said.
They have started to implement changes to ENE’s website, including modifications such as upgrading and rearranging the site, says Balkus, whose career goal is working in management and product development. “We have also made great strides in creating both a LinkedIn and Twitter page.”
Chance, who aspires to be a marketing executive for a professional sports organization, understands the value of preparing for the initial interview. “Going into the interview having familiarized yourself with some of the company’s products or in this case services is key,” he said.
“This is a meaningful and interesting project that combines business strategy, marketing, and branding,” said Ragucci, who developed the internship project with the Girard Schools’ business career specialists Jessica Crowley and Joe Jenkins.
“The importance of students getting real-life business experience like we are offering in this project at Energy New England is exactly what all business students need. As an alum, I am extremely proud that Girard has created this differentiator,” Ragucci added.
“This could clearly be the beginning of a long-term relationship with Merrimack.”
To learn more about Energy New England and to see the work done so far by Brian Balkus and David Chance, visit the company’s website at www.energynewengland.com.