Graduate schemes at E.ON: Customer Operations Leadership

Keely Lockhart speaks to Sam Thornton about his experience of the Customer Operations Leadership scheme at energy giant E.ON

I studied Archaeology and Geography at the University of Southampton and I've always had an interest in the environment. As E.ON is an energy company with a strong focus on renewables, I knew I could further my interest in green energy outside of the academic world here.

The Customer Operations Leadership graduate scheme really appealed to me because I enjoy working with people and solving problems. I also knew that I could gain a breadth of knowledge about operations as a whole, before moving into a higher management position after completing the scheme.

The placements

My first placement was in Business Transformation. I had my own small projects and was also involved in a much larger project, so I got to experience work from a range of perspectives.

One of the projects I was in charge of involved liaising with a number of different stakeholders in different departments in order to repurpose a piece of billing software. I had to juggle different priorities because there were so many different people that were connected to this piece of software and had a say in my project. When the project was finished, I got a lot of praise from my colleagues and some recognition from senior management, which was really nice. I felt amazingly proud of that.

My second placement was in Field Operations, as a planner. I was in charge of one eighth of the country in terms of area, and I organised installation, repair, removal of meters and all other metering assets activities in that area. I spent a lot of time speaking to the field team leaders to let them know what needed to be done and when, and then they would send out teams of engineers, as well as the ongoing strategy of the area with the field service manager.

I'm currently on my penultimate placement, which is also in Field Operations. I am running a team of analysts and now have a huge level of stakeholder, project and team management responsibilities.

While it's not usual to spend two placements in the same department, I think if you're able to prove your worth and make a case for it, there is plenty of opportunity to tailor E.ON's scheme to your strengths and ambitions.

The training at E.ON

Before I joined E.ON, I had absolutely no business knowledge, but I've had training opportunities including several business and management courses, an ILM qualification, and a lot of on-the-job training and shadowing. I think E.ON has a really constructive attitude towards learning. While they don't spoonfeed you, people are always very happy to help, support and encourage.

Why choose E.ON?

As a graduate at E.ON, you'll be working for a company at the forefront of renewable energy development. You'll also have the opportunity to choose from a broad variety of schemes that are challenging, exciting, international and dynamic, with generous starting salaries.

The schemes are between 18 months and two years long and consist of four six-month placements, one of which could be spent working for E.ON in Europe. The aim of the schemes is to ensure graduates gain a breadth of experience, get a broad insight into career opportunities at E.ON and maximise their potential.

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