Year in industry – Luana Graca

My name is Luana and I started my Year in Industry programme with Cornwall Insight from July. Once I started, I was given roles within the Content and Research team essentially to assist them with their ongoing projects.

When I was originally offered the opportunity, I felt nervous as I didn’t exactly know how much I was expected to know about the energy sector. I say this because I quickly acknowledged that studying Economics at university didn’t naturally expose me to energy related concepts and ideas, which made me feel like I was at a disadvantage compared to someone with a scientific background. I think this triggered me to start worrying about my transition from university to an office. Thankfully, when I started in July, I was met with open arms as everyone I got a chance to meet welcomed me to the business which made me feel like I belonged and subsequently helped me control my nerves. To ease my adjustment to the sector, I was offered the chance to enrol in a series of extremely insightful training sessions (I think on my second or third week) that provided me with the clarity I was seeking before I started the placement year.

As part of my responsibilities within the Content team, I am involved in looking for and writing about energy-related news to include in the Daily Bulletin as well as longer pieces that can be found in the Energy Spectrum, Ireland Weekly Bulletin, and the company’s Energy Net Zero publications. My duties within the Research team are relatively quantitative as I am more involved in collecting crucial data that the team needs to include in different research projects, this ranging from insight papers to other data-focused projects published by the company, although I also contribute in the writing process of Cornwall Insight’s research papers which feels comforting because it means that the people I work with value my skills and don’t only see me as a placement year student.

As my Content responsibilities are sensitive to market developments, not a day is the same in here. Some days there is an influx of news worth reporting to our customers, so I end up allocating more time to deliver them to our customers through the outlets mentioned above. Equally, there are periods where the opposite is true which allows me to take on more tasks within the Research team and keep myself productive and proactive in the process.

Alongside refining my organisation and time management skills, I believe my written communication and Excel skills have improved as a result of this experience. Being part of the Content team, I am constantly exposed to energy-related news, and having to write on them taught me different ways to communicate whilst practicing cohesiveness, clarity, and conciseness. I believe that searching for news and assisting the Research team with data collection throughout my time at Cornwall Insight has helped me to develop valuable research skills that will be extremely useful when I return to university for my final year. When a particular data parameter that is requested by the Research team isn’t available nor accessible, I tend to manipulate datasets from different sources by using Excel. I believe that by being set more data-focused tasks allowed me to improve my Excel skills, this being another skill I will be exercising when completing my university assignments once I go back next year.

I’m very excited to find out what other skills I am set to develop until the end of my placement year.

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