#GradStories Kate Kerrane, Electrical Engineer, ESB Networks
What does your job involve?
One of the main things I find very beneficial working with ESB Networks is that you're not only sucked into the engineering side of things. You also learn an awful lot about the business and the process and development sides, and obviously the costing side as well. Currently I'm working with the technical costing unit. Basically I get to build up different costing elements on how the substation or a length of line are actually built up and see the fundamental costs and different elements that are built into it.
What skills are important to be successful?
The whole engineering role requires you to think on your feet and think of your own ideas of how to amend different problems that you might face. So definitely the problem solving side of being an engineer has been a massive benefit to my role in ESB at the moment.
What do you love about your job?
I know it's clichéd but I 100% love the people. There's such a diverse amount of different people with so many different backgrounds in ESB at the moment. One day I could be talking to a specific power engineer that knows so much about different equations and how different power systems work. The next day I could be talking to someone who's mad into marketing or finance and the different stuff that I would know nothing about, so the chance to learn more across the company about different disciplines is a fantastic opportunity.
What did you do in college that has helped your career?
While in university at NUIG I got the chance to have a placement with ESB and while I was with ESB at the time they actually funded me to go to Bali to an international student energy summit. That opportunity to progress in terms of my networking and development was incredible. Renewable and sustainable energy has really stuck with me throughout the years and having that passion, especially now with the way ESB is moving, is a great opportunity to progress with the times and have that sustainable energy future in mind.
What's your experience in the sustainability sector?
Last year I had the opportunity to work with an organisation called Student Energy. They're a not-for-profit based out of Canada that promotes climate change awareness across the board, connecting universities with like-minded industries. My role last year working with Student Energy was setting up clubs in universities across the world to promote climate change awareness and also educating communities and students about how effective and essential sustainability and climate change is in the current climate.
How is your graduate programme structured?
ESB Networks gives you a great opportunity, especially within the graduate programme to have three different types of rotations. Currently I'm on my first rotation with the technical costing unit and I'll be moving on to smart metering on my next rotation. Following that, nine months later I'll be moving on to my final rotation. ESB Networks definitely gives you the opportunity to try different sides of the business and learn more about what the industry is actually about.
How did you get your job?
The application process for ESB opens up in September and you can apply online. For myself it was a little different as I did my placement with ESB as an undergrad. I kind of got fast-tracked and got my foot in the door at the start and got to know the right people. From there I was fortunate enough to attain a role on the graduate programme.