Emilia Chojkiewicz: As a first-year student in the EIT InnoEnergy Master’s for Smart Electrical Networks and Systems (SENSE), I began my studies at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Early on, I heard about the CommUnity: EIT InnoEnergy student network of like-minded individuals, passionate for bringing different stakeholders to enact the energy transition. But what exactly does that mean?
An opportunity to get involved
As soon as I heard about the CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy, I knew I wanted to get involved. I had a few ideas for events I would like to host and bring to life. Since Stockholm is the largest local CommUnity, there were plenty of opportunities, resources, and people to work together with to make it happen. I also applied (and was selected for) the open role of Communications Manager, working to facilitate communication both within our local CommUnity as well as with the central office.
Through my role as Communications Manager, I landed in Eindhoven in November 2019 for the Leaders’ Summit. This three-day event brought together EIT InnoEnergy student leaders from all over Europe for team building, leadership development, and idea sharing. I left the summit feeling energised and inspired - and ready to do more for my local CommUnity.
A fun challenge
At the end of the first semester, as second-year students, the Local and HR Managers were both moving away to do their master’s theses. This left an opening for the Local Manager position which I applied for and eventually took over. As only a first-year student, I felt a little unqualified and intimidated, but rose to the challenge.
During my time as Local Manager, we organised many events: a panel on data intelligent cities, a lunch seminar on nuclear energy and tour of the KTH reactor (open only a few times a year), a social event with board games, a career workshop with an EIT InnoEnergy alumni, a webinar on wind energy, and more. This was all possible to a motivated and hard-working team, whose passion fueled the organisation and success of these events!
During the 9 months, I served as Local Manager, I learned a lot. Although I had been nervous to work with a team that was generally older than me, it was never an issue - and provided me with valuable experience for the real-world workspace as well. I strengthened my communication skills and reaffirmed the true meaning of leadership. It is not about dictating orders or setting up rules, but rather, listening. Listening to others, tying their needs with creative solutions, facilitating dialogue, and planning for the organisation’s future.
I highly, highly recommend becoming involved in CommUnity. It is not only an extensive network of great individuals but also just simply a great community to learn from and grow from!
*This article has been published before as InnoBlog and has been modified with knowledge of the author