Over the years, I have realised that I have been lacking in soft skills more than a scientific background or research skills to become a leader in the energy sector. I had just started my journey as the founder of an organisation called Kurdistan Environmental Youth (KEY) and wanted guidance in how to manage the team and grow. It was difficult to motivate other youth in the region to make an impact on a volunteer basis. That is why I applied for the Student Energy Career Training programme to be in the first cohort.
I first heard of Student Energy in 2019 when I joined the Summit in London. It was undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences of my life and will continue to be so. From there, I took what I learned back to my university in Groningen to start a Chapter. Throughout the span of my presidency of SEC Groningen, I saw more potential in myself as a project manager and tried to find ways to grasp more experience in that. I took on more projects at my university related to topics I found important: mental health, youth engagement, and applied physics. With time, I acquired knowledge not only in the science of energy, but also science communication which I find is an issue that scientists do not discuss enough.
The SECT programme taught me several integral tools to project management and credible sources for the energy field. By working on our team projects that we did with a company, we got to apply the skills we learned only days ago immediately. My project on the decarbonisation of the heavy industry by using hydrogen really ignited the possibilities that hydrogen has in the future of the energy transition. This training stayed with me and I still use what I learned today not only in my work and master’s programme, but also in my daily life.
Following the training, I started my master’s in Sustainable Technology as I realised that there are more issues to the energy transition than simply going fossil-fuel free and we must look at it from a holistic point of view. In the past year, KEY has grown and is currently establishing formal partnerships with international NGOs. As for my career, after working as a software engineer in a V2X project, I will be looking into the environmental assessment of our products as a sustainability analyst at Ferroamp in Stockholm, Sweden.
It’s the beginning of another exciting chapter and I am looking forward to developing myself further following everything I gained from the SECT cohort!