Vishakh Nair

United Kingdom

In early January 2023, I found myself halfway through my MSc program at the University of Nottingham in the UK. Immersed in learning about Solar PV modules, Wind Turbine systems, and the technical challenges of integrating renewable energy sources into the grid, I was feeling overwhelmed by the high costs and complexities of transitioning to a green energy economy. My peer at university introduced me to Student Energy and the opportunity to enrol for the 4 month Career Training Program. I was thrilled about the prospect of engaging with a group of young innovators who were curious about this energy transition. I applied to the program with the hope of developing my understanding of financial policies and work on a project that was out of the scope of my engineering program.

Over a period of four months, we were introduced to professionals from all sectors of the industry driven by a common passion for sustainable energy and how they evolved to roles which is now contributing to a cleaner energy landscape. This inspired me to continue developing my analytical and financial knowledge to compliment my engineering expertise in the field of renewable energy. Through specialized workshops I learnt about the multitude ways of financially developing clean projects through various models that exist currently. Additionally, I gained deeper understanding of how to forecast risks that arise with energy projects and ways to manage them effectively to run the show.

It was during the project phase of the program when I engaged with a great set of team members from different walks of lives and disciplines to collaborate for a consulting project for Oco—an organization focused on carbon capturing and utilization, voluntary carbon markets, and carbon credits. This project opened my eyes to innovative sustainable solutions and honed my analytical skills as we researched leads and developed business cases for Oco.

Throughout the journey, our wonderful coaches played an instrumental role in guiding and supporting us both personally and professionally. My mentor, Julie, left a lasting impact on me, inspiring me to always foster growth and positivity in my interactions with others. As the program drew to a close, I emerged with newfound confidence in my ability to contribute to a just transition to a circular economy.

The SECT program has been a transformative experience that not only broadened my understanding of sustainable energy but also ignited a passion to make a positive impact in the world. Armed with knowledge, skills, and a network of like-minded peers, I am now excited to embark on a career dedicated to advancing the global energy transition towards a more sustainable future