Graduate and undergraduate stories

Andy McMillan Graduate: Customer Operations Leadership

I wanted exposure to a massive brand and a massive number of customers, and for what I do to really make an impact. E.ON offered me a fantastic opportunity to experience all of those things.

The project I work on now is called Residential Transformation. My role is to ensure that our contact centres keep pace with how customer demand is changing. We’re implementing a wide range of technology to replace our email, phone systems and live chat. It’s really changing the way that customers contact us.

I’m also completing a professional qualification at Warwick Business School. The network of people you meet there really challenges the way you think. And it’s a great opportunity to apply what I’ve learnt in my time here at E.ON.

To be ahead of the game, you need to be proactive in your own development and take ownership of what you experience. I take on work that makes me push my boundaries, and I complete things that I’ve never completed before.

"I take on work that makes me push my boundaries, and I complete things that I've never completed before."
"I've really underestimated my capabilities. I hadn't expected to come up with the level of work I have. It's exceeded both mine and my manager's expectations."

Abigail Ball Summer Placement: HR

I really wanted to utilise the summer between my second and third year at university. I was keen to work in a fast-paced, exciting environment. This scheme offered an incredible opportunity to gain some valuable experience within a global company, and to build on my own competencies at the same time.

Every day is so different. Right now, I’m focusing on how we can best utilise the new social media platform Connect, and increase the accessibility of Learning & Development to the business. Ultimately, I’m helping our customers with a tool that enhances their understanding.

When it comes to achievements, I’ve really underestimated my capabilities. I hadn’t expected to come up with the level of work I have. It’s exceeded both mine and my manager’s expectations.

The main challenge is getting my head around the scale of the projects we actually work on. It can feel quite daunting. But I’ve overcome this by getting out there and talking to key stakeholders, spending time really getting a feel for the business.

What moves me on is knowing that the work I do has impact and real value on my personal development, on the team and on the wider business.

The scheme has really helped open doors for me. I’ve just been invited to the fast-track graduate assessment centre. And I know it’s a really valuable experience for a future career at E.ON.

Ross Bickerstaff Graduate: Engineering and Technology Leadership

Ever since I started university, I’ve had a keen interest in engineering and finding out how things work. Applying to a large organisation was something I really found interesting, which made E.ON an obvious choice.

You need to be confident in yourself. Sometimes this scheme requires you to step out of your comfort zone. And to challenge yourself just that bit more to get ahead.

There are four six-month placements, and the project I’m currently working on is within E.ON Climate and Renewables. I work with senior engineers, analysing their role and seeing what their job entails. I get to travel quite a bit. I’m either in the office or on-site at a wind farm and inside a wind turbine, trying to understand all of the components inside.

What moves me on is my ambition to become a Chartered Engineer. To achieve this, I have to meet a certain criteria. And I’m always driving myself towards that. The C&I division is a huge part of engineering that really excites me, so I’m off to Texas for six months to work there.

"You need to be confident in yourself. Sometimes this scheme requires you to step out of your comfort zone. And to challenge yourself just that bit more to get ahead."
"Embrace every opportunity that's out there, because there's so much. Just be really open - say yes."

Sam Butcher Year in Industry: Customer Operations

I applied for a few different placements but E.ON really stood out. It’s a large, successful company. And my placement involved moving department every three months, so I experienced a lot of different areas.

Currently, I’m talking to customers on the phones. What surprises me with E.ON is how much they do to help customers. Whether it’s offering general advice or different ways to save money – like the E.ON Energy Fund.

My best customer story so far is about a lady who was struggling a bit financially. At the start of the call, she was quite distressed. But we did as much as we possibly could to help. And by the end, she was very grateful and really happy. That was extremely rewarding.

What moves me on are different challenges I face. I do my best to meet them all and embrace every opportunity that’s out there, because there’s so much. Just be really open – say yes.

Jonathan Griffiths Graduate: Marketing

I was at a graduate fair when I spoke to one of E.ON’s graduates. It made me realise how the energy industry affects everyone in the country, not just a few. Working for a company that affected everyone and touches all of us was the main drive for me wanting to apply to E.ON.

Previously, I’ve worked across Digital and Propositions. I particularly enjoyed going to London to work with various agencies, contributing to the latest campaign. My current role as a Customer Journey Manager means that I now work across both marketing and operations. I’m also proud to say that I’ve won the ‘Customer Focus’ award in the 2016 Young Energy Professional Awards.

My main responsibility is to drive a Net Promoters Score (NPS) to assess customer experience quality. Working in Customer Experience gives a lot of opportunity to improve people’s lives. But to really push the envelope, you have to go out there and find the opportunities for yourself. Find solutions to problems and set yourself apart from the crowd.

We go and sit with our customers in their homes, to find out what the real problems are for people from all walks of life. 

"To really push the envelope, you have to go out there and find the opportunities for yourself. Find solutions to problems and set yourself apart from the crowd."
"It's about going out and finding the extra work. The more experience you have, the better informed you are when you come off the scheme."

Yas Parchizadeh Graduate: Analytical Marketing

I applied to the scheme because it’s the perfect marriage between marketing and numbers. That was the main driver for me, because it allowed me to see more of the business. And one of the great benefits is that we get to complete our CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing Qualification).

I’ve spent one year in Customer Relationship Management, engaging customers with communications about price changes or getting them to sign up to our website. I’ve had a lot of input into how things can be improved. It’s forward facing and you’re interacting with other parts of the business. It feels rewarding because you’re always busy, so you’re never really bored.

This was my first job outside university, and it was a lot to take in. I’m proud of the way I managed to adapt to my environment. I’ve learnt so much – more than I’d anticipated. That’s what I’m most proud of.

In order to succeed on this scheme you need to assert yourself. It’s about going out and finding the extra work, and not being afraid of approaching people from other teams. The more experience you have, the better informed you are when you come off the scheme.

Reema Iqbal Year in Industry: Analytical Marketing

My career with E.ON began last year when I did a year in industry placement. From the start, E.ON’s placement stood out from the crowd to me. It seemed to offer more responsibilities and opportunities. And I’m glad to say I wasn’t wrong.

As part of the Market Analysis team, I was involved in interesting projects that were of real value. I presented my work to teams across the business – and even presented to the Board! I was also lucky enough to have the chance to travel to our offices in Germany.

Throughout the year, I was having conversations about my interest in the graduate programme. Thankfully, my manager was impressed with my work, and this led to a recommendation and an invitation to an assessment centre. When I found out I’d got onto the programme, it was the best day of my life!

"When I found out I'd got onto the programme, it was the best day of my life!"
"IT is the backbone of E.ON. Without it, nothing would operate."

Thomas Hellwig Graduate: IT & Business Change

What really attracted me to E.ON was the fact that it offers one of the best IT programmes out there. The whole energy industry is becoming a lot more digitalised, but this graduate scheme stands out. You get a mentor and a buddy to help you along the way, plus the managers have a lot of time to guide you.

Joining has been the best decision. As well as four rotations, you also have the opportunity to gain qualifications funded by E.ON. I currently work in Business Development on the marketing strategy that generates sales and improves the lives of our customers.

I was lucky enough to be a part of one of E.ON’s most important projects during my first placement. We were splitting the company in two, so that E.ON could focus on renewable energy and customer solutions. I also was managing a data centre project that’s currently being rolled out across 25 European sites. That was such a fantastic experience.

IT is the backbone of E.ON. Without it, nothing would operate. The energy industry will be a lot more digitalised in the future, and E.ON is looking towards us to come up with ideas and solutions for our customers. We’re driving its commercial success.

What moves me on is seeing the impact my work has on our customers. This is my motivation and it’s what keeps me going.

Hannah Scott Graduate: Finance

What made me apply to E.ON? The range of placements and the opportunity to gain experience within a global business. I chose finance for the opportunity to further my self-development, as I could undertake my CIMA and be able to work in a number of different areas inside and outside finance.

My first placement was within Community Energy, working with small communities to offer an independent source of gas and electricity. My third placement will be an international placement outside of Finance in business solutions, offering a service to businesses with renewable heat sources.

Right now, I’m in Gross Margins, analysing customer behaviour on different products. I spend my days looking at what drives people to switch from some products, and how we can retain customers better. The more we understand our customers, the better our products become.

I’m also studying to complete my CIMA, so I have days out at college. My biggest challenge and my biggest achievement so far is balancing my qualification with work.

The thing I most like about working at E.ON is the people. Everyone has time for you. What moves me on? The scheme in itself. The opportunity to work in different areas and lead people, business and change, as well as studying for CIMA is a real motivation to keep going and improve.

"The more we understand our customers, the better our products become."
"Every day, I learn something that I didn't teven think about before. I foten go away and research it in my own time because I find it so fascinating."

Tim Sidnell Year in Industry: E.ON Climate & Renewables

I applied because I wanted to learn about offshore wind energy. I’ve always been interested in renewables, and knew I could develop a great career in this field with E.ON.

Day-to-day, my job is very varied. Basically, I help to make wind farms safer, improve performance and reduce the cost of wind energy. This helps keep our customers’ bills low, and also contributes to reducing carbon emissions.

What moves me on is my passion for renewable energy. Every day, I learn something new. I often go away and do research in my own time, because I find it so fascinating. This placement has given me a lot of knowledge and better people skills. It has really set me up for a long-term career with E.ON.

I’ve also worked on the new Rampion Wind Farm on the South Coast, which is a massive project that will focus on creating carbon-free energy for our customers. And that’s how I feel I contribute to improving our customers’ lives.

George Gissing Graduate: HR

I knew that E.ON offered the chance to gain exposure to all areas of HR. What also attracted me was the opportunity to experience international HR and to study for my CIPD qualification, one day a week. You move through three four-month placements, including a centre of competence, a shared service, and an international placement. I really like this aspect of this scheme, because you get a broader view of E.ON and what’s going on within HR.

Currently, I’m working as an HR Consultant alongside our business partners and leaders, within the Residential Sales and Service business, including our contact centres, talent pipelines and recruitment. Here, we’re making sure that our colleagues have the training and support they need to provide our customers with great customer service.

No two days are the same. I might be at university one day, and on a training course the next. In the future, I’d like to be in HR leadership, in either a partnership or directorship role.

The biggest challenge is that you’re completing a short placement within a large organisation. You have to get up to speed really quickly, getting comfortable with the process and who you’re dealing with. Your time is limited and you’ve got to make an impact.

"You have to get up to speed really quickly. Your time is limited and you've got to make an impact."
"It's about never anting to settle for okay, and wanting to push myself to see how far I can go."

George Batts Graduate: Strategic Business Management

I knew I wanted to work in the energy industry, because it’s very dynamic. E.ON really stood out because it puts customers first. When I met some of E.ON’s representatives at a careers fair, they were really passionate, really engaged and genuine. Plus, the Strategic Business Management Graduate Scheme offered flexibility, so I could shape and tailor it to my future.

The scheme is two years long with four different six-month placements. I’ve worked in UK Strategy, within our Hedging department, and then moved to our Head Office in Germany. That’s the best thing about the scheme – being given the opportunity to travel and experience different things.

One of the biggest achievements so far has to be when we presented to our CEO. Having only been at E.ON for a few months, my team and I won a graduate competition based on Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE). We then had the opportunity to look into implementing our ideas.

What moves me on is wanting to be the best that I can be. As I learn and develop, my potential is moving at the same time. It’s about never wanting to settle for okay, and wanting to push myself to see how far I can go.