August 2008

Learning by doing

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Left: Donald Patterson works with Procurement’s Heather Young during his month-long work experience.

Donald Patterson, a senior at Knoxville’s Austin East High School, recently spent a month as an intern at TVA learning about the business operations.

The following is an excerpt of Donald’s experiences at TVA:

I participate in the Teen Work Program with the Knoxville Utilities Board. Teen Work is where students take classes to learn how to perform in the business world.

During my internship at TVA, I had the opportunity to work in several different areas.

In Procurement, I learned there are many areas that help contribute to TVA’s mission statement. One in particular is Contract Management, which manages contracts to support various organizations. I have also learned about material standardizations, suppliers, emergency response, Passport and transportation.

As an intern, I have taken advantage of every opportunity Procurement employees have given me. I had the opportunity to visit Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and experience the challenges the employees face. Also, I was able to go to Bull Run and Kingston fossil plants to see how they use coal in order to make energy the Valley needs.

One of the things I have learned about TVA is that they have really good people. They treat each other with the same respect, no matter what position they are in. They are willing to do the best they can do to help meet TVA’s mission statement.

TVA has given me the opportunity to do the things I never thought I could do and to see how the business world works. My goals after high school are to go to college, receive my MBA degree and have a scholarship to play football.

The internship is one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I will value this time that I have spent with TVA.