Lake Patrol, SAS and Presentations — Oh My!
My office has quite a view this Thursday morning. At 8:00 a.m., the sun is still rising behind us and the water lapping at the boat’s edge as we idle out from Progress Energy’s* boat slip on Lake Tillery. I’m spending my day shadowing Eric, the company’s Shoreline Management Specialist, to interview him for a feature story as part of our “Take This Job and Love It” series where we highlight different jobs across the company. Many of Eric’s work days are spent on the water monitoring the shoreline and facilitating relationships with the adjacent property owners and their contractors – today I get to join him.
[Pictured here: the Lake Management Team heads north on Lake Tillery for their final afternoon meeting — the lake is 19 miles from point-to-point.]
Progress Energy owns the shoreline of Lake Tillery, and adjacent property owners sign leases to use the waterfront property and build waterfront access docks. Projects must be approved by Progress Energy before construction can begin. Eric visits each property to make sure the plans meet the federal, state, local and corporate guidelines for waterfront building before granting his approval.
Eric’s team and I spent the day pulling up to dockside meetings with building contractors and documenting different properties and projects with a digital camera. With a heat index above 100 degrees, it’s a steamy day outside, but the wind from the moving boat makes the scorching temperatures bearable. After an eight-hour day on the water, I’m pleasantly exhausted as we drive back to Raleigh and glad for the opportunity to see an entirely different side of Progress Energy’s work. My full feature on Eric will run in today’s employee newsletter.
Last week I got to join our social media team on a half-day visit to the SAS campus in Cary. I resisted asking geeky questions about their outstanding human resource policies, and stuck to questions about their promising practices for developing internal social media. We met with their VP of internal communications and director of internal web relations and left with some great ideas to apply back at Progress Energy.
I appreciated the intimate look at another organization’s communications strategy and was particularly interested in how SAS engages their employees to promote news about SAS in their personal social networking spaces: every SAS released news story includes pre-written clips and links for personal tweeting. While I don’t foresee Progress Energy, or governmental organizations, moving to this model anytime soon, I do think it is smart and the way of the future.
Today is the last day of my 12 weeks at Progress Energy. I’ve had a fantastic experience this summer, and I will sincerely miss my colleagues in Corporate Communications and the friends I’ve made across the company. My department threw me a surprise going away party on Monday, which was incredibly generous. The celebration was complete with a Texas-themed cake my manager baked and decorated.
[Pictured here: Mr. Save the Watts and me. Useless trivia: Mr. Save the Watts has appeared on Desperate Housewives — sans his lightbulb costume.]
This afternoon my intern team and I will give a final presentation to the company’s leadership about our experiences this summer. I extended a personal invitation to Bill Johnson, our chairman, president and CEO, while we rode the elevator together last week, so I hope he’ll come! I’ve been thinking of Setzer’s class often as my fellow interns and I have spent weeks prepping for this grand finale.
Thank you to all of you who have followed my summer adventure, and a HUGE thank you to the Progress Energy folks who have gone above-and-beyond to make sure I had an enriching experience here – I hope I’ll have the opportunity to return!
*The views expressed on this blog posting are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.