Graduate in Engineering and Consulting Services
Based: Essen, Germany
Before being employed by RWE Technology International GmbH (RWE IT), I worked at a start-up aimed at enhancing the efficiency of an energy storage facility while producing sustainable food products. Unfortunately it did not work out as planned – therefore, I decided to take on a new exciting challenge. On account of my studies in industrial engineering at RWTH Aachen University with electrical engineering as field of specialization, an apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician and numerous stays abroad (Brazil, Scotland, and Kenya, amongst others), it was clear to me that I would like to work for a multinational company in the energy industry.
I decided on RWE TI because it is a consulting company in the energy industry that operates all over the world. The external project business is a key area of activity for RWE TI. Another thing that makes it exciting is the internal business – i.e. for the RWE Group (of which more later).
In January 2017, I started as a graduate in the Electrical, Process and Control Engineering division. I am mainly responsible for plant dimensioning in the field of electrical engineering. At present, I am working on a feasibility study for a power-to-heat/hydrogen plant. The study focuses on power-to-heat, but if the regulatory framework ever changes, power-to-hydrogen might become an interesting option. For other projects such as the grid connection of a major industrial customer I have been involved in the preparation of a proposal concerning a scheme with optional project execution. In addition, I am currently familiarizing myself with the topic of grid simulation. What I find particularly astonishing in this connection is how the various electrotechnical components interact. I am very well able to apply what I have learnt in my studies, but I have also noted that I need to considerably expand the foundations acquired. In power plant engineering, for instance, grid simulation is important for load flow calculation.
For one graduate station outside RWE TI's office setting I am to be assigned to the Ibbenbüren power plant. I will be deployed during a power plant overhaul incl. preparation. To get to know the plant and operational environment better, I will take part in the shift operation of the Production department for two weeks before the start of the assignment.
The graduate programme and RWE
What I find particularly interesting in terms of the graduate programme is the different project stations. They permit you to gain a very good insight into the company and enable you to build up a solid network. The 18-month programme also includes a station abroad. Before starting at RWE, I always thought: "A major corporation – well, I don't know." I am really very surprised by how 'modern' it actually is. Short and uncomplicated lines of communication with my superior, flexible working hours and colleagues who are both very nice and very helpful. For example, I work in an open-plan office with my superior.
To applicants I can only give the recommendation that they be themselves and not play-act. Whether phone interview or assessment centre: if you are not authentic, your interlocutor will notice. In my still-young career at RWE and also during the application phase this was always positively noted.
Due to the energy transition and also the digital transformation, RWE is facing major challenges. But one should absolutely not forget that the existing power plants still play an important role in securing electricity supply. It is noticeable that RWE itself is currently undergoing a transformation and that many new vistas are opening up.
If you enjoy working for an energy group with a multitude of opportunities and exciting areas of responsibilities, I can only recommend that you compile and send off your application documents as soon as possible. However, it has to be stressed that the setting is tough. But for anyone who thrives on challenge this is the right place to be.