In the Spotlight
In the Spotlight: Carla Benauges, currently a first year student in our International Energy programme – 12 April 2019
Carla is representing France for Clean Energy Policies in a Youth Leader Summit organised by the Canadian Government and Mission Innovation (an initiative by the European Union) at the end of May 2019 in Vancouver.
As a part of this, she invites you to a workshop on Friday the 12th of April – 9 rue de la Chaise, room 900, from 5pm to 7pm – on the following topics:
1. Misconception about nuclear: as France’s electricity originates for 75% from nuclear power plants, it is quite surprising that French people are unaware about nuclear, the dealing of nuclear waste and the French nuclear strategy.
2. How to implement Clean energies at a faster rate: As Europe is a leader in terms of energy, it is its role to show the example to other countries in terms of energy transition. With the threat of climate change, France and Europe in general have to give strong policy signals so that the whole world can follow.
3. Educating people about renewables and their implications: people are often unaware of the implication (especially for the grid) of implementation of renewables. To ensure that it is a fair process and publicly accepted (NIMBY…). Thus, we need to find ways and times to transmit this information to people.
In the Spotlight: Susanne Nies, Strategy and Communications Manager at ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators – 16 March 2018
Many thanks to Susanne Nies for an inspiring, motivating and highly informative talk on ENTSO-E, the European Energy System, digitalization, career paths and much more!
In the Spotlight: Lisa Viscidi, Director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue.
The Inter-American Dialogue is a network of global leaders brought together to promote democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity, focused on the Western Hemisphere. Lisa is a specialist in Latin American energy with ten years of experience in research, analysis and business development in oil and gas, mining and clean energy.
She was Latin America team leader and editor for Energy Intelligence Group, and has also led research projects for public and private sector clients as a manager for Deloitte’s energy practice. Lisa has written numerous reports and articles on energy policy, climate change, social and environmental impacts of natural resources development, and the geopolitics of energy, among other topics.
It was great to speak with Lisa, particularly for the ladies in WIEI who will be travelling to the US as part of dual degree programmes, and those looking at the Washington think-tank scene.
In the Spotlight: Elizabeth Press, Director at the International Renewable Energy Agency – February 2017
Elizabeth Press, a Director at the International Renewables Energy Agency (IRENA) kindly accepted our invitation to join us virtually from her office in Bonn, and give a talk about her career in the energy sector, her triumphs and challenges, working at IRENA and her advice to her 20-something self. It was wonderful to hear her speak and share her thoughts in such fascinating detail with the attendees from WIEI! We heard all about her international travel for work, what it is like crossing cultures as a woman in business, why she loves her job today – and what she sees as the big trends coming in the renewables sector. Thanks very much to everyone from WIEI who was able to join us, and for more information about IRENA and opportunities there, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth current directs Planning and Programme Support, and leads on internal co-ordination, strategic integration and reporting to government and donors. She has spent 7 years at IRENA, and helped lead the transition for IRENA from being a preparatory commission to being a full-fledged Agency in 2011.
Prior to IRENA, Elizabeth already had 18 years of prior international experience under her belt. She previously worked on many areas within the United Nations, with experience in development, humanitarian assistance, rule of law and political affairs, which allowed her to work across the world in New York, Geneva, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, DRC, Cambodia, and Kosovo.
Our first In the Spotlight: Luisa Palacios – December 2016
Head of Latin America macro and energy research at Medley Global Advisors, previously of Barclays Capital, the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, Société Générale in both Paris and New York and the World Bank in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America in Washington DC.
We were delighted to be able host a very special hangout for our members to kick-start our packed calendar of activities this year. Luisa really is a bit of a superstar, with a CV boasting some impressive and a career which has spanned finance, strategy, energy and international affairs as well as a PhD and some academic teaching on the side. In her twenties and thirties, she rarely stayed in a job longer than 3 years, and she is a strong advocate of chopping up and changing the traditional career path. We heard all about her career, her tips and her rule of jumping into the unknown.
Here’s a quick snapshot of our talk, although there’s nothing like being ‘in the room’ with Luisa and feeling her infectious energy for real! Take it away Luisa…
What I do in the energy sector…
Right now I work at Medley Global Advisors. We share offices with The Financial Times in New York (cue excited face from WIEA Head Amanda, avid FT fan) which is where I’m speaking from. I advise on the policy intelligence and know-how for a lot of really interesting client, half in Europe half in Latin America. The focus is big financial assets. Our clients aren’t Shell, Chevron or the like, rather the companies who own equity in energy. We help them navigate all sorts of situations, from regulatory issues to the quality and quantity of the areas they are working in.
How I got here and what I’ve learnt from previous roles…
I absolutely love my job – every minute of it – but I would never have originally thought I’d be here. My first degree was in communications and then I ended up doing a PhD comparing energy liberalisations in 1990s Latin America, whilst working at the World Bank. An opportunity came up at Societe Generale, and then I ended up back in New York, working at the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, where they really wanted me to focus on global Chinese investment. I’ve also worked on the trading desk at Barclays – I didn’t have a finance background at all at that point, but what was great was they wanted people with other experiences.
I have always followed my passions to the next step. Today, I find myself going full circle and using skills from my earliest studies of communications and journalism to explain our analysis to my clients.
My three top pieces of advice:
- Getting involved in areas that other people haven’t can make you a really great hire
The more eclectic the jobs you do, the more you have a skill-set to offer different things to a variety of employers. It is also, for me, the best learning experience, even when things are hard at first. To move from job to job requires being really open-minded about your career path – it requires more discipline and more thrust!
- Don’t stay in the same place too long
What you don’t see now is that your ability to jump from job to job now, in your 20s and 30s, will decrease over time. You may never get offered an opportunity ever again – so take it now! Working in trading at Barclays was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done – and I knew it would be when I took the job, but I also knew I would never get it again, and I’ve never regretted it since.
Previous bosses have been best PR for me, and remember that every place you go is a place you might want to come back to, so don’t burn bridges because you never know what might happen next.
- Being a woman, you can have it all – but you have to assert yourself
In the energy sector, you can’t really get more male-dominated. All of my clients are men – from traders to hedge fund managers. I’d advise developing a strong personality, building resilience, and above all – don’t lay low and wait for things to come. Make sure too to look after your own space and set boundaries. I had no problem saying to male colleagues in very masculine offices – ‘this conversation you can’t have in front of me’.
But it is only an advantage to have this background, and there is definitely something that comes from being a woman and being a foreigner that is force for good in an international career – both for you and your employer.