We speak to Jason Scagell at RWE npower about what it's like to have a challenging and rewarding career at the organisation:
How has the energy industry changed since you’ve been part of it? I joined the industry over 20 years ago on a graduate scheme and at that time it had just been privatised – I knew this was going to be a catalyst for huge changes ahead. There was far less efficiency in the systems and the monopoly that had been in place meant that the concept of ‘customer’ wasn’t so clear. Nowadays, for those new to the industry, I think there are more opportunities to contribute earlier on. However, there is an issue of trust with customers which needs to be resolved – that didn’t exist when I started.
How do you address the negative perceptions of working in the energy industry? Energy is the lifeblood of our civilisation and allows us to do the most amazing things. There aren’t many things that are more important than getting energy right for our customers. For those thinking of joining RWE npower what is the one thing you would want them to know that they might not be aware of? It’s an unbelievably welcoming and friendly place. There’s a great sense of togetherness and all going in the same direction.
How do you go about bringing in new, young talent? A business works best when they properly reflect the needs of their customers. I don’t have the same background as many of our customers so bringing in diverse, talented and fresh people is vital to the success of the business. Small and medium businesses (SMEs) are a massive source of economic growth for the country and reflect a trend towards an entrepreneurial approach, so it’s people from these backgrounds that we want on-board to provide solutions for our customers.
There are several graduate opportunities in place at npower, including the Graduate Scheme and the Future Leaders competition – how would you say these benefit the company? As a company you want the most talented people working on the biggest challenges. Future Leaders engages with the brightest people with a real viewpoint to get involved in energy and have high opinions of npower as a result.
Why should graduates be interested in the Future Leaders competition? Graduates especially should look at it as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and demonstrate a real passion and interest which will stand them in good stead for whatever career they decide to pursue. A programme like Future Leaders can be really important for graduates.
What advice would you give to those looking to enter? If you take pride and satisfaction in your project and ensure that it makes an on-going difference this will shine through to the audience. Try and be original – it would be fair to say that we’ve seen a lot of cycle schemes, so if that’s your idea you’re really going to have to make it stand out as the best.
For those looking to get on to the graduate scheme can you let us know what the most important qualities are that you’re looking for? I have several graduates in my team and the best seem to be delivery-orientated and have an ability to push things forward, whilst being a source of great ideas and open to new things as well. They need to be able to combine a desire for change with patience and an understanding of process. They need to appreciate that the role might be difficult but it’s not about instant gratification – they need to work through it. Ultimately, they need to have that balance between imagination and being grounded – it’s not all about having it now.
And finally, how do you impress a senior manager at RWE npower? Enthusiasm, a willingness to embrace ideas, real collaboration and teamwork.
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