For those of you who don’t know, I am Energy UK’s resident placement student. Currently studying Business Studies at University, my year in industry has led me to Energy UK. The energy industry takes on a significant number of interns each year, committing to the continued investment in the future of the energy industry.
Directly employing over 131,000 people across the UK and supports a total 680,000 jobs nationwide. The apprenticeship schemes and placements provide paid work to those wanting to start a career in the energy industry. They give the opportunity of gaining qualifications and experience; I am extremely lucky to be one of them!
I have spent the last 8 months in the communications team at Energy UK. My role has provided me with a variety of diverse, interesting projects which have ranged from summarising reports to designing factsheets. I have also had a go at being on the front line at our HHH campaign roadshow! I have found the fast paced, unpredictable nature of the communications team a fun challenge. Some of the highlights for me personally have been the level of responsibility given to me. In recent times, I stepped up to be the lead contact on the Home Heat Helpline campaign; which at one point included explaining the campaign to Joe Swash and taking over his Twitter page, no less!
Another highlight (although sometimes frustrating) has been working on the website. The work that goes into keeping the website maintained and looking at its best is something me and probably many others underestimate. However, being able to see my changes implemented across the website is rewarding in itself! The variety of roles I have worked on has greatly helped in developing a range of new skills that will undoubtedly help me in the future. Over my placement year, in addition to the skills gained, I have also seen my confidence grow as I have become an integral part of the team.
I have experienced first-hand the benefits of having a placement, but there are equally, benefits for organisations by taking on students. The organisation receives someone eager to impress, eager to learn. Whilst the intern gets given a wealth of opportunities; in my case these include going to Energy UK events within Parliament, Scottish Parliament to Energy UK’s own Annual Conference and Young Energy Professional Forum. Placement students will often bring their own skillset. Social media is a common place where interns excel, as they are brought up using the internet every day. A year isn’t long to make an impact and learning quickly is vital.
I believe the key to being a successful intern is to work hard and putting in the effort equates to the reward. You never know the opportunities that can arise.
In my opinion, the way internships and secondments are viewed is changing. Companies see the value of having a placement student and now often feature in an organisations organogram.
A company is made up of all types of staff who bring their own skillset and experience into the mix; interns are vital to that mix.
- The Young Energy Professionals Forum is a place for the next generation of energy industry professional open to all young energy professionals' and students