Year in industry – Alex Jephson

I started my placement with Cornwall Insight in the Consumer Markets team at the start of July. I was nervous about starting as I’ve never worked in an office before and I didn’t know a great deal about the energy industry, but everyone was welcoming and willing to answer my endless stream of questions.

As a Human and Physical Geography student, I had some knowledge of the energy industry before starting, though it mainly focused on the environmental impacts of fossil fuels and renewable energy, and what companies are doing to reach net zero. I tried to teach myself some more before starting, but I didn’t realise quite how many aspects there are, nor how many acronyms!

I’ve learnt a lot so far, especially around domestic and non-domestic suppliers. Before starting I could just about name the former Big Six, and now I can name almost every supplier that’s operated in the past few years, and their customer numbers. Although, keeping up with all the changes lately has been entertaining! I’ve become the go-to person regarding suppliers in the market and Supplier of Last Resort customer numbers, so I keep a series of charts and tables to hand.

I was initially set one of the daily reports to write, finding and collating new stories and sending them to customers. It was a great way to bring me up to speed on the happenings of the energy market, and it’s fun to be the person that finds the stories and news articles that form the basis of other projects around the business. I’ve also progressed onto larger reports such as the Quarterly and Monthly Supplier Insight Services, which let me consolidate the knowledge gained from the daily report and let me explore and combine data to find patterns. It’s been really interesting so far and I’m looking forward to working on these reports again and learning how to do more.

I’m enjoying working in the office, though it was a bit daunting after 12 months of working alone in my room. We’re still getting the hang of the mixed home/office working, but I like that we have the flexibility to choose. Everyone I’ve spoken to have been wonderful and no one minds taking time out of their day to help me understand something, which I really appreciate. Several people have joined my team since I started, so I wasn’t even “the new person” for long! It also gave me chance to teach others what I’ve learned so far and answer all their questions like everyone else has done for me. I’m loving my time here so far, and I’m going to miss it when I go back to University, but the skills I’ve gained in writing, Excel and time management are going to be invaluable for my final year and dissertation work! In the meantime, however, I can’t wait to learn more and get to grips with new projects.