Stay Basin is a new blog series that features employees who have enjoyed building a long-term career at the cooperative.
Build a successful career with Basin Electric
For a moment, Mike Murray’s eyes wander, and he thinks back to the days he worked in Basin Electric’s mailroom.
It was 1990, and the 20-year-old was looking to get his foot in the door to something great.
“My wife used to tease me all the time that I looked like Michael J. Fox pushing that mail cart around the office, hoping for an opportunity to move up the ladder,” he laughs.
Murray’s 80s movie references are sharp, as are his present-day supervising practices. As he sits back and folds his hands in his fifth-floor office chair, the property and right of way supervisor ponders what it meant for him to score a gig with Basin Electric, and build a successful career.
“When I was young, it was one of those places where you looked and it’s where all the important people worked,” he says. “I didn’t look at myself as having an opportunity to start here.”
Through their work, employees tell the cooperative’s story
But as fate would have it, a part-time position presented itself. And with every mail delivery he made within the cooperative’s Headquarters building in Bismarck, ND, Murray quickly got to know the people.
For at Basin Electric, every employee plays a key role in the story of electrifying rural America, and every employee is crucial when it comes to serving the cooperative’s members.
Basin Electric offers room for growth
After working the mailroom for a couple of years, Murray also began attending business management classes at Bismarck State College (BSC). Employees have many opportunities to take part in continued education through Basin Electric.
“Basin’s been very good to me that way,” he says.
Murray was hired to a full-time records job in 1994. Upon finishing the BSC business program, he was promoted to the position of records coordinator. From there, he advanced his education through Minot State University.
In 2000, Murray moved up to an assistant spot in the property right of way department. He was mentored through 2007, when he became property and right of way supervisor. It’s a post he proudly holds to this day.
Why do employees stay with the cooperative? Watch the video
Murray says it’s been an amazing journey. And while there were other job opportunities that occasionally came his way, Basin Electric was always where he wanted to be.
“You can jump from job to job and try to get that higher paycheck, but you may not get the total package that’s offered at Basin Electric,” he says. “In the end, I got a 401(k), I got a pension, I got college reimbursement if I want to go back to school.”
Murray is appreciative of the leadership opportunities the cooperative offers to its employees, as well as a culture that embraces family values.
“This becomes your second family away from home,” Murray says, mentioning how much he enjoys the cooperative’s many different employee-focused events, such as Family Night. “It’s very important – important for my family.”
Murray appreciates that he can rely on his co-workers, as well as have a network of subject matter experts to direct questions to at any time. “My favorite part of the job is my co-workers,” he says.
Murray has no doubt he made the right choice when he joined Basin Electric. Because whether you’re pushing a mail cart, filing records, or managing major projects, it’s important to remember that you’re always family.
“There’s so much that’s kept me here all these years,” Murray says. “I feel like I owe Basin. They gave me the opportunity I didn’t think I’d ever get.”