So it’s been, what, three months now? Time runs fast, but what does it hold? Being a Trainee is all about getting to know the organisation, to learn about new subjects – and to revise others! – and to be an ambassador for both the company and the energy business.
Some days belongs to the office, where my duties tend to vary quite much from day to day. Being interested in programming and having in general a somewhat substantial understanding of computer technology – in the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king – I’ve been learning myself VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in order to implement more effective ways of handling SSB data to estimate potential for future sales of heat. We basically use Excel to almost anything that involves some kind of data manipulation, which of course can be debated from here to infinity, but being able to increase the efficiency of the tools we use is a key competence for me as a Trainee. Being fairly fresh from university also tend to bring about the notion that I have mad skills in maths and computer science (a.k.a. Excel), so an analytical approach to “number crunching” and data interpretation is colouring much of the work I’m doing.
Some days, the Office can offer something completely different: first aid course! Statkraft is emphasising an important focus on health, safety and environment (HSE), and this includes us being able to handle situations both at and outside of work. The Norwegian Red Cross was hired to prepare us to handle an emergency situation, and to practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation (Norwegian: hjerte-lunge-redning, I admit I had to Google that…).
I’ve been carrying out some calculations in context of a process chemical analysis that we’re looking into, in order to optimize the operation of one of our incinerator plants. My background is being appreciated and utilized, which is quite a nice feeling. Being in office also includes attending a lot of meetings and, in some cases, also business negotiations. Again, back to the core of being a trainee: you’re going to be exposed to a lot of what’s going on around the house.
Out of Office
Now, a lot of the time I’m actually not in office – travelling is actually a quite extensive part of my job. Getting to know the process plants and installations I’m working on optimising, is key, and asking lots of questions while visiting brings about a lot of learning. One thing is for instance using HCl (hydrochloric acid) in the process, but challenges associated with corrosion of metal parts in the supply rooms are something a flow chart doesn’t really tell you anything about. I was also fascinated that we use such nice colors on our tanks – which of course is just an easy way of marking chemicals. By the way, that big, purple thing is two stories high!
Business traveling outside of Trondheim is quite diverse. Some of the stuff that’s been going on is a workshop with IHS in London on the strategies for changing Europe’s heating sector. Did you know that about 50 % of the energy consumption in Europe is associated with thermal energy, a.k.a. heating and cooling?
More specifically related to the Trainee position are the Trainee Network (Trainee-nettverket) in Oslo and the NET Gatherings of energy trainees. I’ve had the pleasure of attending two Trainee Network gatherings in Oslo with BDO and Tine, which kind of illustrates the variety of businesses areas you may encounter at some point in your career, but also gives interesting insight in different companies and their focus for the future. A NET Gathering in Kristiansand, where trainees in the energy sector was introduced to Agder Energy’s business and their trainees, was a huge success! The picture illustrates the CEO of Agder Energy having a very committed presentation about the future of the energy business as he sees it.
Work, Work, Work?
I’m spending a lot of time working with people, travelling and learning, but is that all there is to it? Work is, luckily I would say, just work, and there is time to do other stuff! Statkraft has a variety of activities you can involve yourself in. Personally, I enjoy being in “marka”, but I’ve also embraced the offers of playing cageball and squash to keep myself active. Statkraft cares about it’s employees, so just get into it!