Doing a job that contributes to Japan and the world, in an environment that welcomes challenges
I moved to New Zealand with my family when I was five years old. After graduating from a local university, I built up my career as a structural engineer for constructions such as earthquake-resistance construction.
Meanwhile, I have been interested in various social issues ever since I was a student and paying particular attention to "countermeasures against global warming." What are the initiatives needed to resolve this global challenge and build a clean society? The answer I reached was the "energy industry reform."
If I can contribute to the spread of renewable energy, I can benefit the world, and since this industry is a field with a promising future, I should also be able to keep advancing my career on a permanent basis. This is what I thought and I first studied at a Japanese graduate school and completed a master's course in energy sciences, and after that I became a member of Vena Energy in 2019, taking a new step forward.
The reason why I became interested in this company was that it is a Japanese subsidiary of a foreign-affiliated energy company. I thought it was an ideal workplace for me, who grew up in New Zealand and was aiming to make a step upward in Japan. In addition, there were many large-scale projects in progress and I was able to expect a challenging and worthwhile environment, which was also a key point for me to decide on joining the company.
I am currently part of the Technical Services department. The mission of this department is to design and manage the construction of solar and wind power plants, taking responsibility and driving the project until the commencement of commercial operation. We have a team engaged in civil work, a team in charge of system design of power generation facilities, a team handling high-voltage current facilities, and so on, and a wide variety of engineers of different nationalities and fields of expertise are working together.
In this environment, I am in charge of tasks such as plant design, data analysis, and budget management. In addition to the desk work, visiting construction sites is also an important part of our job. Land in Japan often has a lot of undulations and the arrangement of PV modules is not straightforward. Therefore, we have repeated discussions with our contractors, have a good grasp of the status of construction and topographical issues, and adjust the construction drawings.
I started with no experience in designing power generation facilities, but I was able to steadily upgrade my skills with careful follow-up from my boss. When I was assigned to an 18MW-class project installing more than 46,000 PV modules, in just one month after joining the company, I felt "I did not expect that I could take on such a big job so early!" and my spirit was fired up.
Of course, there were times when I faced technical challenges during these days of my first try. However, here we uphold teamwork-oriented values that "someone's success is everyone's success," and experts in each field have given me abundant support. Thanks to that, the power plant was completed successfully and I was able to gain both great confidence and personal growth in the technical aspect.
Opportunities for pushing our boundaries are not limited to our respective main job. In my case, for example, I wanted to increase opportunities for knowledge sharing among employees thus consulted with my boss. I launched a side project called "Vena Academy" and have been tackling the challenge of planning and operating it.
In this initiative, we set a theme every month such as "Leadership" "Project Finance" etc. and ask experts from within the company to give lectures. Such lectures are provided on-line and all employees can freely participate. This initiative is highly evaluated also by our head office in Singapore and has now evolved into a global initiative with more than 200 participants. The company is open to accept such ideas from its employees and thus we can realize them one after another, which I think is another real thrill of working at Vena Energy.
My current objective is to improve management skills so that each member can smoothly and comfortably play his/her role and succeed. In the future, I would like to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society, not only in developed countries but also in developing countries, by engaging in planning and development of energy policies through international organizations.
I believe that Vena Energy is a workplace where we can accumulate valuable experiences that would allow us to envision such future. The company is highly conscious of the importance of work-life balance as well, thus it is a workplace that I can truly recommend to those who want to have both a fulfilling career and fulfilling life.Challenge