I have just come back from my very first taste of what the real world is like, the main reason my blog has been pretty devoid of content for a while now, completing a period of work experience within one of the world’s largest companies, and undoubtedly its largest and most successful energy company, GE, specifically their Energy department; it was eye-opening to say the least.
Obtained and organised through a friend of my partners family, I was taken under the wing of a commercial leader forming part of the UK and Northern Europe wind energy team at their HQ in Bracknell, where I was introduced to all aspects of the corporate energy world, from selling to policy, and I was blown away by the some of the things I came away with.
As a commercial leader, my ‘boss’ so to speak, was responsible for the entire bidding process involved with procuring a wind-farm development by beating away the competition and getting the customer the best deal possible, whilst generating some revenue for the company on the side. Therefore, I effectively dived in at the deep end and through myself upon the various projects lined up for me, including getting to grips with how GE Energy functioned on a global and GW scale, researching information for the sales teams on new turbine designs and experiencing precisely how the company deals with customers and developers amidst a rapidly changing energy market; it was fascinating to say the least.
Before going into this, I admittedly had rather little knowledge of GE and its workings worldwide, despite it being responsible for the power plants providing 25% of global needs and being around since the invention of the lightbulb, and in actual fact, being founded by the very inventor himself, Thomas Edison. Therefore I was relatively relieved when my boss told me that GE’s brand presence in Europe is small to say it politely, and in all likelihood, mentioning that you work at ‘General Electric’ in the UK could easily inspire a puzzled and disinterested reaction unless followed up by further information. This is certainly something I found to be true talking to my friends, but did not realise how common this issue was.
Even though GE has been instrumental in powering a large majority of the world’s planes with their jet engines, transporting freight goods via their massive train industry, lighting up millions of American homes with bulbs and generating the technology necessary to power our hungry society (and this isn’t everything either), nobody over here really takes much notice of them. Anyway, I digress.