Here at Opus Energy, we pride ourselves on our varied and inclusive Graduate programmes and, to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with one of our successful applicants to find out about how they’ve been getting on since joining us in September.
Our case study this week is Helena. Currently enrolled on our Risk Management programme as a Graduate Analyst, Helena takes us through her day, and tells us the high-points and challenges of a career at Opus Energy.
Name: Helena Nathan-King
Level: Graduate Analyst
Joined Opus Energy: September 2015
- How long have you been in your role?
I started working at Opus Energy as a Graduate Analyst at the beginning of September, so have been in the role for nearly 5 months. I’ve been based in Risk Management in Oxford for the whole time, but I’ll have the opportunity to work in placements in other departments in Northampton later this year.
After a couple of weeks of training, I started working in Hedging and Forecasting, and I’ve recently started working in Pricing and Analysis, both parts of Risk Management. Both teams have been fantastic at showing me how the company operates on a daily basis, whilst also helping me to fully understand Opus’s position and strategy within the energy industry. I’m looking forward to experiencing a whole range of new areas of the business in the coming months as I become involved with other departments.
- What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?
Probably as in most other offices, I get to my desk, check my emails, and make myself a cup of tea. However, unlike other offices, Opus Energy in Oxford has an especially friendly and inclusive atmosphere in an open-plan office, so it is only natural to greet others in the morning and catch up over weekend plans.
- Talk us through your day-to-day tasks.
Most of my time is spent working on longer-term projects assigned to me by my manager, or even a group project, with both requiring regular meetings and catch-ups. However, there is also a selection of smaller tasks to complete on a day-to-day basis requiring input from the wider team as well as working on my own.
- What’s your favourite thing you do each day?
I really enjoy catching up at lunchtime with people working in other teams who I wouldn’t usually interact with on a working basis. This allows me to gauge what’s going on in different areas of the business, which will ultimately help with my understanding of Opus Energy as a company, and the role I’m in.
- Tell us about a project you’re currently working on. What’s good/bad about it?
I am currently working on a project looking at how to forecast and price the risk of unexpected industry costs for electricity supply.
It is fantastic to have been given the responsibility to complete a project such as this, as the outcome is crucial to determine whether we have sufficiently covered all risk factors in this area, having wider implications for the company as a whole.
The bad thing about it is that it is quite difficult to come into a project not knowing much about it or not immediately understanding the work that needs to be done behind it. However, due to the wealth of resources, and a helpful manager and team, these challenges are overcome easily.
- What kind of challenges do you face day-to-day?
With so much going on every day, it is sometimes challenging to manage my time properly. This is especially true when it relies on other people, as often, their time will likely be more valuable than mine! However, I always like to keep myself busy, and with so much going on, there is never a dull moment.
- Have there been any surprises in your placement so far?
The biggest surprise when I started working here was the amount of responsibility I was given pretty much immediately, even as a graduate. This really made me and the skills I came here with feel valued. The fact that Opus Energy is growing very quickly, means there is so much room for opportunity, even at entry level.
- What advice would you give to other people who are thinking of working for Opus Energy?
At application level, you definitely don’t need to be an energy industry expert, however you should certainly be enthusiastic about it; do some research, make sure you understand the key issues, and identify any areas you’d be most interested in working in and why.
Opus Energy is also a happy and sociable environment to work in. So when it comes to interview, if you come across this way, it will stand you in good stead.
If you’re interested in one of our Apprenticeship or Graduate programmes and want to find out more, have a look at our careers page, here.