Dana Turner knew from a young age that she wanted to help others and was planning to pursue a career as a speech language pathologist. But as she began her college education at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, it became clear that her interests lay elsewhere.
While exploring courses in the business school, she discovered a passion for problem solving. A few courses later and Turner was pursuing her degree in Business Intelligence & Analytics and Economics.
“I have always said that analytics is like solving a puzzle. You have information of all different shapes and sizes, and you have the ability to make each of those pieces come together to tell an overall story,” she explained. “Being able to use the tools around you to understand which pieces fit together, and why, is fun and challenging.”
When it came time to search for an internship during her junior year, Turner put her analytical skills to the test. A native of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, she knew about the region’s electricity utility, PPL, but had never thought of the company as a potential employer. However, when she stopped to think about what PPL provides to the communities it serves, a light bulb went off.
“At the core, I realized how PPL powers the lives of its surrounding communities daily. Understanding that I could play a part in ensuring that those in the community could rely on PPL to deliver them with power, made the position exciting and a place I wanted to belong,” said Turner. “I was also impressed with PPL’s commitment to advancing clean energy and their ability to leverage technology and innovation in the utility world.”
That summer she interned on the Data Analytics team of PPL Electric Utilities – a subsidiary of PPL Corporation. The structure of the internship program allowed Turner to interface with both data scientists and engineers, helping to bolster her knowledge of business, statistics and computer science. Together, she and other interns worked on a proof-of-concept image recognition model that could accomplish some aspects of annual pole inspections using a sensor mounted on a PPL truck, thus saving the company time and money.
Turner enjoyed her internship experience so much that she accepted a full-time position with PPL and was hired prior to graduating in May of 2020. Beginning her career during the COVID-19 pandemic was unique, but Turner credits her coworkers and manager for helping her feel welcome and empowered to take on new challenges.
“Joining PPL is joining a family,” she said. “Your success and development are important. I’m currently pursuing my MBA, which is covered through the company’s tuition reimbursement program, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow my knowledge and career path.”
Turner also credits PPL’s inclusive and diverse culture with building her leadership confidence. “I joined PPLTomorrow, a business resource group for emerging leaders. Holding a leadership position within PPLTomorrow the last 8 months has allowed me the opportunity to grow and learn from executive leadership and peers both professionally and personally.”
When reflecting on the beginning of her journey, Turner knows she made the right decision to pursue a career in business. Her path has already led to a very rewarding career and bright future with PPL. And at the core, she is doing what she set out to do: help others.
“The heart of PPL is serving others,” she said. “We work together to ensure our customers and our community have safe, reliable, and affordable power. Each individual works diligently towards that mission and that’s something I’m really proud to be a part of.”