As a student it is difficult to picture what it is really like to work. You might dream about being employed in a specific company, working with your favourite subject or making a difference. But all in all, how does an ordinary day at work actually look like?
After 18 years of studying I was finally ready to enter the work life last year – as a trainee in Statkraft’s Innovation department. I was eager and looking forward to get started in September. Now I have been employed in Statkraft for almost 6 months. It is a really interesting job and I’m not exaggerating (though it is kind of cliché-ish) when I say that I learn a lot every day. I am soon going to change department, as it is time to enter my next trainee rotation. But first, let’s take a look back at these first months…
Squares and boxes
The Innovation department consists of three units – I’m in Technology Analysis (IVT). Our task is to keep an eye on every technology in the energy sector. Which technologies will be important in tomorrow’s energy system? Where do we see the most momentum? How does various trends affect the markets in which Statkraft is present? We have to see the entire energy system as a whole, and analyse possible synergies between different markets. Not a small task, I know. But very interesting!
Most of our analyses are assignments from other departments or directly from the Corporate Management. We thus have to present our analyses in an understandable manner. As a student I learned how to write long scientific reports. However, in IVT we mostly work in PowerPoint. It is all about making the right charts and figures that may sum up a bunch of numbers in a clear way. Not easy for an analytic mind that prefers squares and boxes…
Predicting the future
Our main annual delivery is the long term price forecast, a collaboration between several departments. IVT delivers price forecasts for the most central technologies in the energy system, and we work closely together in the team to back each others areas of responsibility.
Currently, I am a part of a “Fossil Free 2050” study, where we are analysing and comparing reports predicting the low carbon society in 2050. It is very interesting to see how various organizations and governments solve that challenge. The different countries have got entirely different expectations for the future technology mix, as well as different measures and targets. In 2050 when we have got all the answers, it will be fun to look back.
“It is tough to make predictions, especially about the future” – Yogi Berra
I am also working on two different projects in our sister unit, New Initiatives. One related to electricity storage and smart energy, and the other one to hydrogen. Both of them are mapping technologies, markets and potential business opportunities. We work to analyze the facts and prospects – it will be exciting to see what other parts of the organization think.
As you might understand we have got a range of different projects and activities. The days are a combination of analysing (yep, staring at the computer), project meetings, brainstorming and scoping of new ideas (we have a special yellow board for that), knowledge sharing and discussions in the landscape and of course coffee drinking (we have got the best coffee machine at the entire Lilleaker office). The cap is high for sharing new ideas and knowledge, which makes the landscape structure of the office very convenient. Especially for me, with all my questions, it is nice being able to ask as they pop up.
The extraordinary days
Some days are not particularly ordinary. As part of the electricity storage project I have gotten to travel quite a bit. We had a workshop at Statkraft’s London office a couple of months ago, and last week we had a meeting in Düsseldorf. It is fun to meet people at our other offices, share knowledge between departments and of course visit new places. As I was in Düsseldorf I got to see my new apartment – this is where I’ll be situated for the next 6 months – and take a look around the city. It looks very promising and I’m looking forward to new tasks and challenges there.
I hope this gave you an impression of my daily work life. It you want to experience it yourself and find solutions of the sustainable future you should apply for our summer project. This year, the Statkraft Summer Project will be held by my unit, and the theme is “Smart and clean cities of the future”. Interested? Read more about it at the Statkraft career pages.
As Abraham Lincoln once said:
“The best way to predict the future is to create it”