When I left Balliol in 2013 after my degree in engineering science I entered a graduate scheme with RES, a global wind farm developer, and I am a currently working as a project developer in Cape Town for six months on secondment from a similar role in the UK. My main role here is to plan the wind farms in Southern Africa and gain approval from the government to build them. Another part of my job is helping the government shape the renewable energy programme in the country as, unlike in the UK, the renewables market is a very new one and still has some areas of much-needed growth. I love that I am making my small contribution to the world’s energy problems and can witness the changes around the world first hand.
I think being an Balliol graduate has helped me a lot throughout my short time in the working world. I believe it gave me the confidence to say yes to a lot of opportunities that at first seemed pretty daunting but turned out to be great experiences for me (particularly the one to move to South Africa).
In my daily working life it gave me the ability to go away on my own to learn something quickly and come back with the knowledge that, although I am not an expert on the topic, I can certainly hold my own in a conversation about it, and that has come in useful almost every week.
Most of all I have learnt that there are lots of fantastic career paths available to an Oxford STEM graduate: you just need to make sure that you enjoy what you do, because mornings are hard enough as it is and you don’t want to add hating you job to that!