BY COSTINE OYOO

Many young people finish their studies in campus and wonder what exactly they will do in their workplace. It’s a state of confusion and anxiety on what awaits and you wonder from the numerous theories you started learning in first year until graduation, which one will be applicable. It is at this vital point that I got to learn about Youth in Energy and Empowerment Program(YEEP), which truly lived up to my expectations. I had learnt about the first cohort of YEEP and seen their testimonials and was keen and all ears to get into the 2 nd cohort. I was glad my application was successful and became part of the journey.

The training started with the most ignored part of university education, soft skills. I learnt about personal branding and how important and effective it is for my career growth and relation to others. The lesson here was consistency, showing up and having worthy values. I added knowledge unto my communication skills, which is very very important in the technical world as the slightest of misunderstanding can lead to disasters.

Refreshing my memory on the fundamental laws of physics and energy, I went through intensive but enjoyable technical lessons. Through this I learnt about energy auditing steps, solar installations, health and safety in workplace, energy management skills. Another important topic was learning to give a business case to investor or clients to take energy efficiency measures. The technical courses don’t teach this and the result is professionals who can’t convince clients to undertake projects. There is need for economics part of energy projects, like internal rate of return, Net Present value calculations and pitching skills be
taught in campus to technical students.

YEEP program opened my eyes to myriads of opportunities I could get into, ranging from energy efficiency to power generation. I learnt of professional certifications like Certified Energy Manager offered by Association of Energy Engineers that I intend to do soon and enhance my skills in that area. My internship experience with Mr. Andrew Amadi, an energy consultant was more than exciting, apart from writing and reviewing audit reports, solar projects, he provided leadership and mentorship to me.

I am glad what Eenovators is doing to the youth through the YEEP program and how I wish that funding could be available to take more youths. Such a program should be emulated and replicated so that we have competent professionals, not only to seek jobs, but also able to create opportunities and solve the unemployment crisis in the country. My confidence and morale has been boosted as I start my career in the energy sector and I look forward to working in the intersection of productive use of energy(PUE) and poverty alleviation.