- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Portland General Electric full-time (more than 10 years)Pros
Overall, a great place to work. Excellent core values but sometimes clumsy in working with them from location to location. Very customer focused in most work groups, environmentally sensitive mostly (as much as one could expect a carbon producing Utility to be), quite innovating in some areas, and embraces socially active role in the community.
Historically long employee tenure created a strong and positive family culture but that is beginning to fade somewhat with high levels or retirement, new younger employees, and intentional management towards a more nimble, competitive, and productive work force. For the highly motivated, hardworking and/or politically astute there is opportunity to grow but one usually must be very patient and have a plan for growth the receive some personal management attention, as objective metrics on individual performance has not typically been handled well.
Culture is divided. Line and field operations are highly unionized and promotions there have more to do with ones time in service than individual performance. And the culture can be found to be harsh for some newbies or people unfamiliar with the dominate culture, but after some friendly ribbing or initiation time one should earn the proper respect find themselves in a comfortable and friendly work environment or crew. For the office there is another culture as it is non-union. The environment is generally very friendly and polite, after all, one will have to work with peers for a long time and a reputation can follow you. As a result there is not much direct confrontation on issues.Cons
There are only a few cons that are static, but all organizations can and must improve. Historically low turnover so new job opportunities are slow to develop - but that is changing. Historically a culture of low performance expectations and often times inadequate ways to measure performance. That too is changing in some departments that have or are developing new business technologies to measure productivity. But managements frequent failures to implement technologies that deliver their intended business results over the long haul, and a lack of will to confront poor performing individuals who may be long time friends, could mean working with peers having completely different contribution levels but similar pay/rewards.
Utilities, by design, are not risk takers as they are typically not rewarded for taking risk and punished in earnings when initiatives fail. For this reason, this company is not one where risk is well tolerated, and this permeates down to you, the work of the individual contributor. Ambitious undertakings of highly complex issues are certainly undertaken, but for the typical employee, this kind of environment frequently better rewards individuals who take the safe and predictable route and produce no surprises over individuals who push hard and deliver on a more risk laden project. So if you are one who wants to push the envelope and take some risks to achieve beyond what is often considered mediocre in truly competitive environments, you may not get many opportunities here, and if you do and are successful, there is not the kind of reward you might typically expect for the extra efforts.Advice to ManagementAdvice
The management team knows their own weaknesses and shortcomings. They have seen their mistakes and often seen them repeated. Efforts and capital being expended to change the company these last few years and into the next should not have to suffer the same mistakes that have been made in the past.RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I applied online. The process took 4+ months – interviewed at Portland General Electric.Interview Details
3 in person interviews, some of the interviewers seemed to not know why they were present. I thought some of the questions pointed to higher level skills and management attributes, but since have come to realize that though they like the 'dazzle' of high performance concepts and knowledge, the company operates like a behemoth in sludge.Interview Questions
Negotiation Detailsnegotiated with HR rep by email. Received slightly higher offer.Accepted OfferNeutral ExperienceAverage Interview
- none really; same questions for two of them Answer Question
Portland General Electric (PGE) keeps many Birkenstock-shod feet warm. The company, formerly a subsidiary of Enron, generates, purchases, and distributes electricity to about 815,820 customers in Oregon. PGE's service territory covers 52 cities, including Portland and Salem. Its hydroelectric, coal-fired, and gas-fired plants had a generating capacity of 2,766 MW in 2010, and it purchased another 2,074 MW of generating capacity. PGE also markets wholesale electricity and natural gas to other utilities and marketers in the western US. In keeping with the "green" image of...