The People of Santee Cooper: Part 2
Do you ever wonder about what it takes to make your electric lights turn on? For about 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is the powering source behind those lights. We have more than 1,600 employees who work together statewide to make sure you have reliable power. And, Santee Cooper is a leader in renewable energy in South Carolina and values good customer service.
Meet Financial Analyst Sherry Coleman. She works in conservation and energy efficiency support services. Sherry manages the Solar Share the and Smart Energy Loan programs. She assists customers with their Solar Share purchasing decisions. Santee Cooper loans money to residential customers for energy efficiency upgrades, as well as solar roof-top panels. Let’s learn more about Sherry with a little Q and A.
Q: What led you to your current job?
A: When I came to Santee Cooper in 1998, I began my career as a residential energy advisor assisting customers on ways to reduce the energy they use. After eight years, I became the Green Power program manager. This involved working with customers on making Green Power purchases, which is what renewable energy is. Two years later, I moved over to commercial energy services working as an energy advisor for Santee Cooper’s commercial customers. This was a great transition because I was very familiar with energy conservation. I enjoyed eight years before moving over to energy support services to manage the Smart Energy Loan program. At this time, I transitioned to a financial advisor, assisting residential customers with their financial needs borrowing funds to purchase energy efficient appliances as well as solar rooftop panels.
Q: What type of education, training, technical knowledge or experience is necessary for this kind of work?
A: I earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Coastal Carolina University. Over the years, I’ve been provided professional technical training as my job has evolved. Training has been ongoing throughout my Santee Cooper career.
Q: What type of interests, abilities and skills would help a person to be successful in your occupation?
A: Outgoing personality, public speaking, communication/oral and written skills, time-management skills, strong computer skills, and a solid understanding of the programs Santee Cooper offers customers.
Q. What advice would you give a student interested in this career?
A: Do well in school and get out there and meet people within the industry they are interested in. Expose yourself to public speaking and become comfortable with your abilities. Work hard on communication skills, both oral and written. Learn everything you can about company you desire to work for. Get along with others.
Q: What part-time jobs, internships or extracurricular activities would best prepare you for this occupation?
A: Although jobs while I was in high school and college weren’t in the career I was interested in, they prepared me for the strong customer-service aspect of my career, created excellent work ethics and grew my resume. Internships also help immensely allowing you to get a sense of what a company is like, networking with the staff, as well as giving an advantage of future job openings within the company.
Explore the wide variety of rewarding career opportunities Santee Cooper as to offer at www.santeecooper.com/careers.