Experience reports from innogy trainees

What makes our pioneers tick?

Participants from various trainee programmes at innogy have a discussion at a table during a seminar.
innogy's trainee programme will turn you into an expert on the energy transition and will help you to build an extensive network.

Pioneers talk about their experiences

Boring routines? Not at innogy! Here, pioneers talk about exciting projects, personal impressions and unique opportunities that their individual trainee programmes have to offer. And their reports don't lack useful insider advice for prospective trainees either! Find out more about our diverse trainee programmes, straight from the horse's mouth.

Trainee@Westnetz

Muriel Franken

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

The highlight was my secondary placement in the operations division in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate where I gained plenty of practical experience.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence? 

One part of the trainee programme is an eight-week placement in a different department, which is called a secondary placement at Westnetz. My secondary placement brought me to the city of Trier and the Rhineland-Palatinate operations division. Tasks in operations include maintenance and fault elimination for primary and secondary equipment and high-voltage overhead lines. In this way I had the opportunity, for example, to walk along an overhead line route, to test a new tool for route maintenance, to learn about planning substations, to check a cable with the cable test van and to support colleagues who inspect protective equipment. 

Overall I have met many helpful colleagues whom I can now and in the future ask for advice. During my time there I was also able to gain plenty of practical experience, which helps me in my day-to-day work.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

Many exciting topic areas are waiting to be discovered. So one should always be open to new experiences and take the opportunity to learn from experienced colleagues.

Claas Matrose

Electrical and Computer Engineering with specialisazion in Electrical Power Engineering, doctorate

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far? 

Representing the company at a trade fair stand one day, working in the cable basement of a substation the next day – the highlight is the variety of tasks.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence? 

As a trainee I felt like an active member of the department from the start – during my core placement as well as my secondary placement. The DESIGNETZ project develops the blueprint for the energy transition and creativity and organisational skills are in demand. My contribution has been appreciated from day one. In my secondary placement I independently organise measurements in substations and coordinate the necessary work between the different departments. I always receive the support I need and my network continues to grow every day. 

My hopes of finding a challenging and exciting job at Westnetz GmbH have been fulfilled. The trainee programme has made the start to my career easy.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

Be yourself, be interested and show your interests. All of the colleagues will take the time to answer your questions. Use this opportunity to become an expert on future-proof energy grids.

Trainee programme

enviaM trainee programme

Maria Schmelzer

M.Sc., Business Management

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

Working on the change project is the highlight of my time as a trainee so far. As a trainee, I cannot confirm the preconception that one has to prove oneself in the job straight away as a direct entrant.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence?

15 minutes after starting on my first day I was already in the middle of a telephone conference and just a week later I discussed the status of our change programme with executives and the CHO – it could hardly have been more direct!

In addition to gaining experience in project management I had the opportunity to learn the methods and tools of change management, of how to support employees in times of change. I drew up my own programme schedule according to my own ideas and the direction I have chosen for my development. By participating in special events and seminars for trainees, it is possible to perfectly interlink theory and practice and to meet other trainees. During that time I learned more about myself and I was able to develop professionally and personally – not least thanks to my mentor.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

Make sure to get a comprehensive overview of topics and projects of your division at the start and then set the focal points for your individual programme. In this way you will have the opportunity to work on exciting projects and you'll make the most of your time as a trainee.

Trainee programme

npower trainee programme (UK)

Daniel Smith

B.Sc., Economics and Finance

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

The highlight of the finance graduate programme for me has been how much responsibility I have been given, despite being new to the business.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence?

In my first placement in the B2B accounting team, they have enabled me to see all aspects of the role from gas to power. After getting the initial overview of the whole business area, I was granted leadership of a particular business area, which I feel privileged to have taken on. In this role I am directly responsible for monthly outputs, which shows the trust placed in me by my manager. Having these opportunities is really enjoyable as they’re allowing me to develop my skills on a daily basis.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

My advice would be to be yourself, be well researched on the energy industry and to bring a positive attitude to the party.

 

Saskia James

M.A., Sustainable Development

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

So far, the highlight of the business leadership scheme has been the exposure I have had to such a wide variety of business areas.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence?

During my first placement in Digital alone, I was able to work with everyone from HR to PR, IT to Strategy. Sometimes this was simply data gathering, but at other times it involved managing people at a far more senior level than myself and helping to shape their activities going forward. This gave me a far better idea of how both the company and the industry worked, whilst also allowing me to develop greater insight into where I might like to pursue graduate placements in the future. Perhaps more importantly, it exposed me to senior managers in the company early on, allowing me to show off the work I had been doing and my value going forward.

What is your personal advice for other applicants for this programme?

My advice for other applicants is to show the people you want to work for your passion, your enthusiasm and your energy – it’s infectious!

Ainsley Kerr

B.Sc., Accounting, Business Finance and Management

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

My highlight during the graduate programme was having the opportunity to complete an international placement in the forecasting team at Essent in the Netherlands.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence?

In addition to my three UK placements at npower, I also had the opportunity to complete an international placement which involved moving to a different country. During my time in the Netherlands I gained valuable knowledge of the Dutch and Belgian gas and power markets. I learned the practices of a different energy company and gained an understanding of the Dutch cultural ways of working. I made full use of some of the opportunities organised by Jong Essent study group including a visit to the RWEST trading floor in Essen, Inden opencast coal mine and a trip to the Essen Christmas markets with colleagues. It was an invaluable six months that I hold fondly in my memory.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

Take every opportunity that you can. Excursions, time in different teams and social events are just some of the ways to vary your experiences.

Trainee programme

Süwag trainee programme

Kai Fischer

Business Administration and Engineering, technical specialisation in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far? 

The trainee programme enabled me to build a network within the company and provided me with an excellent comprehensive overview of the different divisions.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence? 

As part of the trainee programme I was given the unique opportunity to be placed in many different divisions of Süwag and Syna and to actively contribute to the work there. In this way I met many colleagues working on a wide variety of tasks and was able to build an extensive network within the company. For my current role this means that I already know most of my contacts personally from the trainee programme. This makes working with them very easy, even across different departments. In addition to the great benefits for my professional development I particularly enjoy that I now mostly deal with familiar people in everything I do at Süwag and Syna.

What is your personal advice for other applicants for this programme?

Try to be actively involved in drawing up your programme schedule and get to know as many other divisions within the company in addition to your own department as you can.

Trainee programme

VSD Slovensko trainee programme (SK)

Vladimir Imrich

M.Sc., Electrical Power Engineering

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

Spending time in every department I will cooperate with later on and helping them with their job.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence?

Entering a company right after finishing my studies meant that I was faced with a lot of challenges. New schedule, new tasks and new people – and everything is done in cooperation between different departments. I spent time in every department I expect to collaborate with in the future. The more extensive the collaboration with a certain department is expected to be, the more time I spent in it. In this way I was able to see how my requests are processed and, in turn, where the output of my own work was used. I was able to see from both sides where conflicts between the objectives of different departments could arise and to ask the colleagues what I could do to prevent those situations. I spent more time with different colleagues and got to know them better, which now makes interacting with them much easier.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

Use all the time you have as a trainee, don’t rush into your final position. The trainee programme gives you the opportunity to see processes from a wider perspective that you won't be able to take at a later stage in your career.

 

Patrik Jašňák

Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

What has been the highlight of your trainee programme so far?

I was surprised how many internal regulations can exist in a company, but later on I realised that it’s necessary in order to manage it.

Please give us some more details. What is the quintessence?

Experience that I gained during the trainee programme helps me understand how the company operates. The larger the company, the more important it becomes to solve tasks systematically. For example troubleshooting a crash of the power grid – regardless of the causes for the problem. There are several possible causes for a crash, but every employee has their allocated tasks in fixing the poles and cables. From dispatch and warehousing to electrical engineers on site. The essence I took from this is that each employee is important and an integral part of the company's structure.

What is your personal advice to other applicants for this programme?

I recommend to applicants not to be afraid to ask questions about anything connected to the operation of the company.

Trainee programme