Anna Lu outlines why she chose to work at Transpower and the value she gained through participating in the programme.
“As a young Electrical Engineer, I was keen to use the skills and knowledge I had gained at university to bring a spirit of service to our communities. That’s one of the major reasons why I chose to become an engineer and to join Transpower.”
“Very soon after I joined the Graduate Programme I realized that I had definitely made the right choice. Being able to use engineering knowledge to operate, maintain and develop the national grid, and to keep the lights on 24/7, is just fantastic. It really makes me feel that the work I do makes a difference to the country’s power system and to our society.”
Transpower’s programme sees graduates rotate around different groups and teams within the company, providing not only the best possible opportunity for participants to understand the National Grid and the part it plays within New Zealand’s energy market, but for them to also apply engineering practices to make the grid smarter, more reliable, more efficient and more sustainable.
“Through the rotation, I was able to gain exposure and develop my competencies in multiple disciplines in a very short timeframe – in Power Systems analysis and planning, Protection Engineering, Project Management, and Asset Management," said Anna.
“The program also offered me opportunities to do a 2-month secondment with a contractor company and 3-months with an engineering consultancy company. All of these learning and development opportunities really opened my eyes to the various career paths available for young engineers in the field of power system engineering and helped me discover my own career potential and to develop skills that are important to achieving a successful career within it.”
Over the course of the program Anna worked on a variety of projects, including developing VSAT models for all special protection schemes within the National Grid; participating in the design of the CYD33 kV feeder protection upgrade, and work associated with the NIGUP programme.
Anna is currently an Operations & Planning Engineer, a position that is perfectly aligned to her deep interest in power system operations and control.
Cameron McKay started working at Transpower during his summer holidays to gain work experience for his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) majoring in Mechanical. This arrangement offered him the chance to get to know the company and complete his degree requirement at the same time.
“I found the people extremely knowledgeable, passionate and keen to pass on their knowledge,” said Cameron. “Transpower encourages its employees to get out of the office and onto the site. I was encouraged to go into the field and spend time with contractors and consultants working on transmission lines.”
Since completing the programme, Cameron has worked in many different areas of the business including maintenance, engineer support, grid planning, and various major projects. He is currently the Lines Engineering Manager – Delivery for the Tactical Engineering team.
“The opportunity to rotate around different areas of the business to find the one that suited me best was a major reason why I joined the Graduate Programme. It gave me the opportunity to grow and learn.”
“Transpower has provided me with a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities. There is a great support for the Graduate Programme from management and a real drive within the company to work not only on technical skills but team and skills management as well.”
And his advice to aspiring graduates?
“If you are the kind of person that wants to get a hands-on view of the world, see the country and learn from the best in the business then this programme is for you. I have always wanted to ‘build big things’ – that’s why I became an engineer. And here I am, doing it, living the dream!”