By Nelson Simanto
This year has been full of wonderful and new experiences courtesy of the YEEP (Youth in Energy Empowerment Program). I have gotten the chance to experience what the future holds for my energy management career which is one of my dreams. I have also had a chance to learn firsthand from experienced energy engineers and trainers on what is expected of an energy manager and a good leader through the YEEP EAT (Energy Auditing Technician) training, which was very rigorous training. Not only has the program given me the required skills, but also it has given me a chance to practice them in the real business world through a practical internship program.
My internship journey started at Kenya Nut Company Macadamia Factory located in Thika Kenya. The company mainly deals with the processing of macadamia nuts, groundnuts and cashew nuts. Orientation to the facility was informative as it gave me exposure to equipment that I had only learnt about in college from my lecturers and in the recently completed EAT training. One piece of equipment that was very exciting to see was a 136-kilowatt industrial-grade solar power plant synchronized with the electrical mains. Then came my first task which was an exciting one as it involved setting in place a real-time data logger for the facility, which has made it easy to monitor the facility’s energy consumption. The Eagles Real-Time Energy Management tool has also helped in providing a systematic way of storing information for compliance and also for accuracy verification.
Besides the technical and analytical aspects of the internship program, it has been exciting to employ the interpersonal skills learned during our communication training session. This has been possible due to the activities in the program like compliance with regulations, setting up of an energy committee and employing energy management awareness. All these require communicating with stakeholders in the facility to be able to run and be active. This has been an advantage for me as the interpersonal skills learned have been of huge impact on the process of preparing presentations, writing emails, and conducting in-person meetings.
These exciting activities that have provided a chance for me to participate in a very experiential way, have been made possible by the dedication of our supportive technical team at Eenovators, which we (the YEEP professionals) have nicknamed the dream team. The team has been guiding us on each step, and providing real-time solutions to challenges arising, from easy-to-understand tutorials, emails, and follow-ups, making my energy management program easy and enjoyable.
I relate my YEEP experience with that of Warren Buffett C.E.O of Berkshire Hathaway who shared about the Dale Carnegie public speaking course that was life-changing to him as it developed his confidence to speak in public. So has been my experience at YEEP not only has it provided me with the confidence to speak in public but also it has been able to provide personal growth in terms of career and critical thinking.