Brandon Cruz earned his BS in Business Management in 2004 and spent time in both the real estate and insurance industries, before starting his career at Eversource as a Technical Associate in the transportation department in 2010. What drew Brandon to Eversource was the fact that this was a “family company” for him – Brandon’s father, brother, and cousins had all found careers there. “I always grew up listening to stories about how well they treat you here [at Eversource], so it was really important for me to find a company that treated you the way I thought you should be treated as an employee.”
Although Brandon’s business degree helped him with his responsibilities such as analyzing financial budgets and tracking deliveries, he wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of the utility industry: “We were ordering all these vehicles that had all this specialized equipment, and I had no idea why we were ordering them, what they were used for, and I thought it would help me, not only in this job, but in my whole career, to be able to understand the industry.”
Brandon found the EPCE-sponsored online Electric Power Technology (ELPW) program through Bismarck State College on Eversource Intranet site. After researching the options of a certificate or Associate’s degree, he decided that “it made more sense to go all out and get the Associate’s.” The tuition reimbursement offered by Eversource gave Brandon the final push to enroll in the program: “That just made it a lot easier for me to say ‘If 75% is paid by my company, it’s well worth it.’ They made it very easy for me to make that choice.”
The knowledge Brandon gained in the program, which he completed in 2013, has not only provided the understanding of the industry he desired, but has helped him in making better informed decisions, especially in his current role of Associate Transportation Analyst. “Now, if we’re ordering something, and they [the Eversource employees] request a special piece of equipment, I’ll ask, ‘why do you need this,’ and when they come back speaking in the terms they use, I know what they’re talking about.” Brandon also said that his knowledge gives him a better understanding of storm crews’ responsibilities and equipment needs when called upon for storm duty.
When asked if Brandon would recommend the ELPW program to others, the response was a resounding, “Absolutely.” Brandon found that “with this program, every course you take is very important to what you’re doing in the industry. It’s rewarding in the end, and you get a good baseline to work from to set yourself up for success in the future.”