Studying and working in STEM: Key insights and tips from a placement at E.O.N

We caught up with Alex, an Electronic and Communications Engineering (BEng) graduate, as she comes to the end of her industry placement at E.O.N. She shares her insights into her role as an Offshore Wind Performance Coordinator.

Why did you decide to do a Year in Industry with E.ON?

The energy industry is vital to our everyday lives; I wanted to be a part of an important business that has a direct effect on how we live. With the green energy targets set by the government, it is an exciting time to be involved - new technologies are emerging and improvements are happening constantly.

Tell us about what you are working on at the moment.

I am working on improvements for the fleet of crew transfer vessels (CTVs) that E.ON own and use for travelling to their offshore wind farms. For me, this has meant travelling around the country to visit each site, gathering data and talking to a wide variety of people. Currently, I am working on a safety management system for operating the vessels, monitoring performance data and analysing compliance with best practice in the industry.

What has been the highlight of the scheme for you so far?

The opportunities involved with my role are fantastic; I have travelled across the UK, Scotland and Germany, attended conferences in London, and sailed on various different boats. The atmosphere at E.ON is really friendly and supportive, so I feel at ease in the office environment and able to learn from others around me, which has made the whole experience very enjoyable.

What does your typical day look like?

I am largely based in the Westwood office in Coventry, where I attend various online meetings and contact colleagues in different locations, as my role requires working closely with many other people. The time really flies by as I find what I am working on quite exciting. 

If I’m travelling, it’s usually quite an early start and often a long journey however, I find face-to-face meetings very beneficial. I also attend a variety of interesting conferences and meetings - the travelling doesn’t put me off.

Where do you see yourself after your Year in Industry?

I’ve found this Year in Industry incredibly rewarding and it has influenced my thinking about future careers. I can easily see myself working either in renewables, preferably offshore wind, or in vessels – using both my degree and knowledge of sailing, which I enjoy outside of work.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about doing a Year in Industry at E.ON?

Apply for the scheme as soon as you can so that you can get into the first assessment centre. E.ON is a great place to work and there are so many opportunities - you can make as much or as little from the placement as you choose.

Finally, what are some the highlights and challenges of being a woman in a STEM industry and role?

As one of very few women in a male-dominated environment, I’ve never had any issues and have always been met with a positive response. I do however; understand how the prospect of joining a male-dominated field could be a challenge for others. This is such a fulfilling and rewarding area to work in, and I would encourage any woman thinking of a career in a STEM role to give it their all - not to be put off.

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