Having just completed her HR graduate scheme at E.ON UK, Ellie reveals how the sector has surprised her and why it was the best opportunity. Find out exactly what drove Ellie to choose the HR path.
What do you do and where do you do it?
I currently work at E.ON UK as a team manager for one of our HR operational teams. I have just completed my HR graduate scheme and am very excited for my new role. During my graduate scheme, I completed five placements, including one in Berlin.
‘You can never be overdressed or overeducated’ Oscar Wilde.
What does an average day consist of?
It really depends on the placement! I like to spend time with people, so I try and have face to face meetings and catch ups with my team regularly. My first placement at E.ON was in the employee relations team, so I spent a lot of the time on the phone and in workshops. Whilst I was in Berlin I worked as a recruiter working with the UK, so a lot of time was in video conferences and making phone calls because you couldn't always meet face to face.
During the graduate and intern recruitment campaign, I can spend a lot of time helping at assessment centers and careers events which is always great fun getting to speak to people about my work and the sector.
I also get the opportunity to travel to a lot of the E.ON sites so have seen different places within the UK. I have also had the opportunity to go out in the field with a meter technician which was great fun!
I love the variety you get in this role, I have been lucky enough to be part of some really exciting projects, and attend some pretty cool events including two black tie awards ceremonies.
“I love working for a company who cares, and with people who care. I love how dynamic the sector is – no two days are the same.”
Why is your role important?
Difficult question! For me HR is about the people, and without people you wouldn't really have a business! You might have the best product or service in the world but you need people to be at their best to deliver your product to customers. This was one of the reasons I got into HR, because I wanted to be part of a team that helps people to do their job. Part of that for me is focused on diversity and inclusion, I am really passionate about helping people come to work as themselves. I believe if you can come to work as the best version of you, with all your talents and skills ready, you are then able to succeed. HR can help do this and that is what I love about my role, to me that is why it is so important.
Which parts of the job do you enjoy most/ find most rewarding?
Being around people! The people definitely make the job and make me enjoy work so much more. I feel like I am always part of a team and delivering for that team, which is a real motivation to come to work.
What degree did you do? What made you choose it?
I did a BA in Business Management at Nottingham Trent University. It was a unique degree because I worked whilst I studied. So, sponsored companies take on students from the cohort and release them to university for study blocks. I chose the course because I got the best of both worlds. After all, it set me up for leaving university and joining E.ON with transferable skills and not just a degree.
"I believe if you can come to work as the best version of you, with all your talents and skills ready, you are then able to succeed."
What attracted you to join the energy and utilities sector?
If I am honest, I don’t think I really thought about it that much when I left university, I was very much attracted to the graduate scheme that was on offer and what I could achieve in two years. What I love now is just how dynamic the sector is, and the diversity of people who work here. No two days have been the same and there is so much going on to be part of, very exciting times! However I think this wasn’t as clear when I joined, so I am very keen to share how attractive the sector is as a place to work!
What do you think of the career prospects? Have you had much training and development?
I have been very lucky with training at E.ON, we get a lot of support in both formal training and informal on the job support. I have a PDP and a mentor who supports me, but all my managers and colleagues have supported me when in need. I have also been lucky to complete my professional qualification (CIPD) with E.ON.
In terms of what is next, I am hoping I have a long and exciting career ahead of me. I don’t really know what I want to do yet but there is a lot I am interested in and my colleagues have been very supportive in helping me with what I want to achieve. Diversity and Inclusion is something which is very important to me and so it has been great that E.ON have supported me with project work in this space.
Would you recommend your job to a friend and why?
Yes, I love working for a company who cares, and with people who care, it is easy to underestimate this. I have really had the opportunity to grow as a person and feel whilst I have learnt a lot professionally, I have also developed soft skills and refined who I want to be in the workplace. I love the teams I have worked with and I always say I love my job because it is such a nice place to work. The graduate scheme challenges you and the opportunities to show your skills and strengths are there if you take them.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have always loved baking and I am a massive fan of the Great British Bake Off! I have also recently started to learn to sew, and have proudly made a number of dresses and skirts which I have worn on to work! I also volunteer for a local children’s charity who take disadvantaged children on holiday.