Graduate in Engineering and Consulting Services
Location: Essen, Germany
In September 2016, I was awarded my Master’s, which was centred on energy and process technology, at Ruhr University Bochum. Before starting work, I had planned a one-month trip to Asia to get to know the different cultures and people there, and to discover the exciting countries in the Far East. At that time, I already knew that my future job at RWE Technology International GmbH (RWE TI), which operates internationally, would involve a certain amount of willingness to travel.
My first 100 days at the company
The first project assignment that I completed as part of my 18-month graduate programme was right on my doorstep in Essen, which was where I started the graduate programme in the Engineering division in November 2016. My colleagues made my induction phase in the company really easy for me. Right from day one, I was integrated into the project teams and I was assigned a wide variety of exciting and challenging tasks. I was asked to work independently very early on and to take on responsibility.
The projects at RWE TI are very wide-ranging and diverse. Alongside the project teams, I worked on the viability of one of the world’s biggest drinking water treatment plants in Dubai, as well as on the optimisation of our own domestic fleet of power stations. One of the challenges of project management is juggling various projects and prioritising what needs to be done and when. Within no time, I felt like a fully-fledged member of the project team and was valued and taken seriously despite my young age and low level of experience at the time. Having said that, my friendly and helpful colleagues were always happy to explain things in detail and in an understandable way whenever I bombarded them with questions.
Now I am on my second project assignment in the graduate programme in the Weisweiler lignite power plant and continuing to see a great willingness in other people to share their knowledge with me. Here, I am learning about day-to-day operations, seeing what’s important when it comes to energy generation, which components tend to lead to problems and how repairs and maintenance work are conducted. I am also responsible for various projects relating to water supply and wastewater at the power plant.
The sheer size of a major power plant is particularly impressive. Components that appear as nothing more than tiny boxes in maps often turn out to be gigantic and big enough to contain a multi-storey building. The huge electric currents that run through them or the vast pressures and temperatures to which the construction materials are sometimes exposed are still fascinating to me. What is important when conducting investigations or optimisation measures is that the process is viewed as a whole. The power plant has to be seen as an “organism” that only works properly in its entirety.
What I particularly value about my job and the graduate programme
The great thing about working as a project engineer is that the projects are very varied and no two days are the same. At RWE TI, we have to be very flexible and we always support one another within the team. There’s a great sense of team spirit because everyone is working towards the success of a project. It is also really exciting to be able to master the future challenges of the energy sector. If you really want to make a difference and help to actively shape the future, RWE TI is the place to be.
The graduate programme also offers the opportunity to try out roles in different divisions and work on a variety of projects. This way, I am getting to know the company and the energy sector in the best way possible and building up a Group-wide network. There is also a supporting programme, where intensive seminars help build negotiating skills, presentation techniques, entrepreneurial and strategic thinking, soft skills and much more. In addition, each of us six graduates at RWE TI has their own, high-ranking mentor who supports us during the graduate programme and is always on hand to contribute their knowledge and experience. The mentoring and workshops are valuable parts of the graduate programme and round it off as the ideal way to start a career at RWE TI.