The Mentoring Programme was born with the aim of creating stronger bonds between those who had successful careers in the energy fields and those who are just starting out. It is a 1 to 1 interaction between a student or recent graduate and a mentor, where the mentor provides the mentee with supportive guidance and the mentee can have optional, personal goals he or she wants to achieve during the interaction.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
People say that the first job is the most important one in your career. It is the one that allows you to form the connections and learn the skills you’ll need later on, and also gives you a clear direction for your future. An analogy I’ve read in a great book (“The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter” - recommended by my mentor) says: “Twentysomethings are like airplanes, planes just leaving New York City bound for somewhere west. Right after takeoff, a slight change in course is the difference between landing in either Seattle or San Diego. But once a plane is nearly in San Diego, only a big detour will redirect it to the northwest.” In the work fields, it means that the later you define your career path, the more difficult it will be to apply the changes.
Yet, deciding what to do after graduation is no easy task - or at least it wasn’t for me. There are so many exciting opportunities out there and, for better or worse, the RENE programme I was in gives wide perspectives on many aspects, without diving too much in the details.
Luckily, I knew about the mentoring programme thanks to my experience in the local CommUnity in Barcelona (actually, I have seen the birth of it, in a CommUnity representative reunion in Sitges the previous February). I decided to jump on board before they even had mentors, seeing the great potential in the program.
After my graduation in July, I have been asked to record a short introduction video to show the mentors (if you are thinking that it requires too much time to record a video, don’t worry: you just have to present yourself and explain why you are looking for a mentor).
Together with Tomas Baronas (manager of the mentoring programme), we agreed that the best match for my purpose would have been Vincenzo Capogna - a SELECT Alumni from the first batch in 2010, now CTO at OoluSolar, a company in the rural electrification sector.
The first meeting took place October 3rd, 2016. During the call, I disclosed my motivation to join the programme, what I was expecting from it and my career goals, and he explained to me why he had decided to dedicate his time to the relationship. In the following meeting, a couple of weeks after, we started laying out a plan that could help get a relevant job in the following months. As I hadn’t yet started the job hunting process, we began with the very basics - CV and LinkedIn. Thanks to his experience recruiting interns and assistants, he gave me great insight on just about every aspect, such as layout, customisation and highlighting relevant skills.
He proposed I share an excel sheet with a list of the jobs to which I had and will apply to and a list of interesting companies that didn’t have an opening at that moment. As simple as it might sound, this excel sheet played a relevant role in the process, as it kept me accountable for my daily search. Looking for interesting positions or contacting people in front a computer, with no time constraints and no one checking on you, you can easily derail into distractions (such as social networks or news websites); knowing that I had to “report” to Vincenzo what I’ve done gave me an additional motivation to accomplish my tasks today and not say “I’ll do it tomorrow”.
When I actually started with the job hunting process, the support I had received from him was terrific: he corrected the cover letters of my most important applications, gave me opinions on companies and job positions and tips on how to speed up the application process. As an example, his advice on how to approach the right people at the European Utility Week landed me a couple of interviews the following week.
The fifth and latest meeting that we had was very different in comparison to the previous ones, as I had to choose between two great job offers. He helped me define what the most important criteria for me in the decision are: the team, the location or the opportunities for my future career.
Looking back at the agenda of the first meeting that we had, I had written that my main goal for the following months was to find a “relevant and exciting job as an Energy Analyst”. Considering I just started as an Energy Analyst at one of the biggest consulting firms, I can’t thank all the people that helped me get there enough - and my mentor Vincenzo and the Mentoring Programme team are certainly among them.
I don’t know if your motivation to join the mentoring programme will be the same as mine; what I can say, is that there are many brilliant people in our CommUnity that have probably already achieved what you’re trying to accomplish, and can help you make the process faster and more efficient. Especially if you have never had a mentor before (like me), it is an experience that I recommend you try: advice, coaching, feedback, information and connections are just some of the benefits you will get. The value that you can extract from it is priceless - and very difficult to describe in words. I hope my message reached you - don’t wait any longer, join the mentoring programme!
Enrico Furnari - RENE Alumnus Intake 2014
Reviewed by CommUnity Post