How an internship led to his career as a substation engineer How an internship led to his career as a substation engineer

How an internship led to his career as a substation engineer

Duke Energy seeks students pursuing engineering, IT, project management and more for summer 2024 internships


Muhamed Mlayes, a Duke Energy engineer, designs anything that’s located at a substation, which has equipment that plays an essential role in delivering electricity from power plants to homes and businesses. You might find him looking at an electrical or civil drawing. Other days, he’s out in the field.

“Substation engineering is physically oriented,” Mlayes said, “so regular site visits are a big part of our projects that involve breaker replacements, regulators, conductors and transformers to name a few – work that helps ensure reliability for our customers.”   

2023-0919-Mlayes 108
Muhamed Mlayes learned of a co-op/internship program at Duke Energy while he was a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Mlayes sharpened his already strong interest in engineering while attending high school in a small town outside of Milan, Italy. After researching engineering programs in the U.S., he picked the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as the place to grow his interest into a career.

Mlayes first connected with Duke Energy at a campus career fair. He was so intrigued by the company’s co-op/internship program that he applied – and landed a spot.

In 2021, he joined Duke Energy as a full-time engineer and moved to Raleigh where he lives and works today.

“My co-op set me up for success in the real world,” Mlayes said. “I got to work on a deenergized substation, learn PPE protocols, and so much more. I also got to network with mentors and discern if Duke Energy was the right fit for me. It absolutely was.”

2023-0919-Mlayes 168
Mlayes, an engineer, is on a Duke Energy team that designs anything that is physically located inside a substation fence.

It’s the kind of positive outcome Hannah Castor loves to hear. A senior manager at Duke Energy, Castor is on a talent acquisition team that leads the company’s internship recruiting strategy. The goal, she said, is to build a talent pool that is highly skilled, diverse, and ready to be a part of the company’s clean energy future.

Duke Energy, named to Fortune’s 2023 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, is seeking interns for summer 2024. 

Paid internships are open to college students pursuing degrees or careers in civil, mechanical, industrial and environmental engineering, as well as engineering tech, information technology (IT), project management, project controls, business, operations, cybersecurity, computer science, MBA and more.

2023-0919-Mlayes 101
Aside from regular site visits, a big part of Mlayes' role, he can be found working on electrical or civil drawings.

Any student who is interested should text INTERN2024 to 71729 for more information.

“We want these students to get excited about the work we’re doing and see how they can fit into it,” Castor said. “We hope they’ll walk away from these interactions with a clear understanding that Duke Energy is a place they are welcome and can grow for years to come.”

Castor would know better than most. She interned at the company three of four years at NC State. After graduation, she signed on as a full-time employee. A decade later, she’s held roles in nuclear, transmission and now talent acquisition.

“I would not be where I am today without those internship years,” Castor said. “It was a very nurturing environment where I learned how to function in the corporate world, like the importance of relationships, collaboration and being creative.”

Mlayes said he couldn’t agree more.

“Don’t be afraid to take the opportunity,” he said. “Duke Energy changed my life. You never know how it will change yours.”

More Stories About Remarkable People