This is a guest post from Freddy Ihnen, a Royal Holloway Management student, studying BSc Management with Accounting (YIB) who is currently working as a placement student for E.ON.
As a settlement analyst at E.ON, I have entered the world of an extremely complex industry – the energy industry. Let me bore you with some background info: I am based in Coventry as part of the E.ON Climate and Renewables Asset Commercialisation team (what a name!), helping to secure and maximize income from our renewable energy production sites. These include predominantly windfarms, but also other technologies such as biomass sites. E.ON procures some of its renewable energy from third party wind farms and sites.
My main role as a settlement analyst entails settling the invoices for this exchange and providing transparency to said third parties. During these activities, I settle several million pounds on a monthly basis and am involved in the reporting activities linked to this process. Since this is a job of operational, day to day nature, I actively sought for opportunities to get my hands on projects and other hands-on experience and found that initiative is always rewarded. By the sound of this, I could be in an interview… I am not kidding, though, it is actually rewarded!
Some examples: I was sent to a conference in London on the use of battery technologies with several colleagues; I visited a wind farm and got insights into the work on site; I worked on an international project involving market access in Poland; I even flew to Germany and stayed for two nights in order to participate in a financial modelling course. Most importantly, I racked up many interesting projects involving multiple different parts of the business. A project I am particularly proud of is a benchmarking project I am currently leading. It involves setting up a benchmarking model analysing how appropriate the prices E.ON Climate and Renewables gets for its energy are and whether there may be some room for extra income.
Reflecting on my now nine months so far, I am pleased with my progress and experience and have taken advantage of countless development opportunities while on placement. I was instantly seen as a full member of my team, the water-boy stereotype of an intern did not apply to me at all.
Everyone I worked with was open for questions; happy to help whenever I needed it and always up for a bit of banter, creating a pleasant atmosphere in a very stereotypical office environment. Phones ringing, computers everywhere and a mind-blowing focus on health and safety – I guess that is what to expect of a huge corporate office.
All in all, I am happy to say E.ON has opened many doors for me and my future and I will not hesitate to promote and recommend E.ON undergraduate opportunities to any future year in business students.