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Trainee Renewable Energies at ENGIE - the path into the world of renewable energies

16 January 2024

The graduate programme at ENGIE Deutschland Erneuerbare GmbH (EDEG) allows university graduates to get to know the renewable energy sector not only theoretically, but also practically and comprehensively. In a two-year company-specific training programme, the trainees find out which fields of activity in the area of renewable energies best suit their interests and skills. They are always encouraged and supported in their work. In addition to a specialist contact person at each station, the trainees are supported by a personal mentor throughout the programme.

The aim of the programme is to prepare the trainees as well as possible for a final position through further training and the various stages they go through. Their individual wishes and needs are taken into account and their specialised knowledge is practically deepened according to their interests. The programme thus effectively paves the way for a responsible position as a specialist or manager.

ENGIE covers the entire range of possible activities in the field of renewable energies, from acquisition and engineering to construction and operation.


Personal insights: trainees share their experiences

To gain a deeper insight into the graduate programme and the personal experiences of the participants, we interviewed our current trainees. We find out first-hand how the programme has shaped their careers and influenced their development from:

Lennart Vornhusen (29), Trainee Renewable Energies since April 2023

Lennart studied mechanical engineering in his bachelor's degree and then completed a master's degree in renewable energy systems. Before ENGIE, he worked in project development in both the solar and wind industries.

Talisa Hartmann (29), Renewable Energies Trainee since July 2023

Talisa studied industrial engineering at Bachelor's and Master's level, specialising in renewable energies. She joined ENGIE as a working student - now she is starting out as a trainee.

Henning König (26), Trainee Renewable Energies since April 2023 (previously working student)

Henning also studied industrial engineering at Bachelor's and Master's level. He specialises in mechanical engineering and automotive engineering.

Luise Hellige (26), wind expert and former renewable energy trainee

Luise studied Energy and Process Engineering in her Bachelor's degree and added a Master's degree in Regenerative Energy Systems. She has already successfully completed the trainee programme and has now been with ENGIE for over five years. During this time, she has followed an impressive career path: from intern to working student to trainee to permanent position.

Graduate program

If you are interested in ENGIE's international graduate programme, you can find more information here.

Learn more!


Development opportunities as a trainee in renewable energies: Knowledge, experience and personal growth

For Lennart, one criterion was clearly at the forefront of his decision to go through the Renewable Energy Trainee Programme: the unique opportunity to work on projects from different perspectives. "It allows me to develop a comprehensive understanding of this sector and also gives me the chance to network extensively within a company as large as ENGIE." Another decisive factor in his decision: The trainee programme is designed to explicitly discover one's own strengths and to find out in which area of renewable energies the trainee individually sees his or her professional future. Last but not least, the stay abroad, which is part of the programme, was a particular incentive for Lennart to complete the Renewable Energies Trainee Programme at ENGIE.


Take responsibility and develop your own initiative

For Henning, working on the Renewable Energies Trainee Programme is not much different from joining the company directly after graduating. He particularly appreciates the varied work; there is virtually no typical daily routine. So far, he has spent six months in the land acquisition department and two and a half months in the project development department. In land acquisition, Henning conducted on-site discussions and contract negotiations with landowners. He also actively attended landowner meetings and local council meetings. He was also involved in the evaluation and analysis of potential project sites, even though this was not - until now - an official part of the trainee programme.

"One particular project was citizen participation," says Henning. He was able to familiarise himself independently with various models, which gave him his first expertise in this area. This involved several appointments, direct dialogue with senior management and cross-departmental coordination with colleagues: "I was given trust and my initiative was rewarded," says Henning.


Exchange of knowledge and insights at ENGIE's headquarters in Paris

Luise's experience at the foreign branch was an extremely rewarding time and led her to the headquarters and the Global Business Unit Renewables (RGBU) in Paris. Before being offered a permanent position at ENGIE Deutschland Erneuerbare, she had the opportunity to take part in RES Exploration - an exchange programme aimed not only at trainees but also at experts. There, she worked in a team that gave her the great opportunity to work on international renewable projects. "It was particularly exciting to pass on knowledge about wind energy to my colleagues, while in return I delved deeper into solar topics," says Luise.

The connections to other teams at headquarters gave her a deeper understanding of the cooperation between the different units in the individual countries. Luise also noticed that managers in both countries deal constructively with organisational issues and workloads. "At the same time, I gained an insight into the working cultures of different countries, which gave me a valuable perspective for my own professional development."


Corporate culture that promotes innovation: freedom for ideas and professional growth

Talisa has noticed one thing in particular during her time as a renewable energy trainee: a corporate culture at ENGIE that she finds to be innovation-friendly and conducive to learning. "Innovations are not only welcomed, but also actively encouraged. Even management is usually open to your own ideas, which speaks in favour of an open and supportive atmosphere." This approach to her professional work also motivated her to apply for a traineeship at ENGIE after her work-study programme. Here, there are flat hierarchies, open communication and a strong team spirit - which encourages her to quench her thirst for knowledge by actively asking questions. "As a renewable energy trainee, I have the freedom and opportunity to address and drive forward topics. I find this particularly conducive to innovation."

Talisa feels that the company has strengthened her professional and personal development: by linking the individual areas in the company, she can work with many different people - this gives her useful insights and experience.

She has also been able to work in a newly established department as part of a team of nine members. Here, targets are set and tasks assigned to cover different functions and areas. "I had a say right from the start and was able to express my opinion on where I see myself and where I don't." She is grateful for the team management, who supported her ideas and contributions.

Training programmes and mentoring: valuable additions for professional development

The trainees also greatly appreciate the training programmes offered by ENGIE to develop an even deeper understanding of the energy and electricity market. In their eyes, the company's mentorship programme also contributes to this: Each and every trainee is assigned a business mentor. The monthly dialogue meetings with the mentor provide the opportunity to discuss objectives, current challenges and personal issues. "These reflection meetings with an experienced colleague are very valuable for me, as I can set the agenda myself, and a review of the past month comes naturally," says Talisa.


Renewable energies trainee - and then?

Former trainee Luise reports on her seamless transition from the trainee programme to a permanent full-time position. Thanks to her experience, the transfer to her new position as a wind expert in the Engineering department went very smoothly and without the need for an additional interview.

Luise is optimistic about her career prospects within the Group: she sees numerous options, both at the same level in related specialist areas and in the direction of a management position. Her experiences with superiors are consistently positive; she particularly appreciates the support she receives from her current superior. She already experienced this support during her trainee programme, during which she was able to work with various managers. She is currently even supervising two working students herself. Luise sees these experiences as beneficial steps in her professional development within the Group.

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Renewable energy trainee: A guide to shaping your own success story

Based on their own experiences, trainees Lennart, Talisa, Henning and Luise can provide helpful advice for anyone considering applying for the trainee programme: It is highly recommended to think in advance about which areas are of greatest individual interest and what you want to achieve. This helps to reduce the number of stations you have to go through and instead extend the duration of the individual stations that particularly appeal to you. As three months is often too short to really get to grips with a topic, the trainees advise expressing a personal desire for a longer stay at an early stage. The stay abroad as part of the programme also opens up some room for manoeuvre. Proactivity is the key word in all areas. Open communication about wishes and ideas as well as active involvement in shaping your own trainee programme is therefore important - and desirable!

As the Renewable Energies Trainee Programme is very young and therefore does not yet have a fixed framework, participants can play an active role in shaping it and thus control their own development. At the same time, trainees should always make sure that they are offered interesting further training or courses.

Current participants in the Renewable Energy Trainee Programme are currently invited to evaluate the training courses and assess their relevance for future trainees. Current conclusion: The programme is challenging, but at the same time full of great opportunities!


Diverse prospects and opportunities as a renewable energy trainee

By participating in various projects and working in different departments, the renewable energy trainee programme offers a unique opportunity to develop a deep, comprehensive and critical understanding of the sector. Thanks to a corporate culture that encourages innovation and learning, trainees can contribute their own ideas and develop their skills. However, the programme requires initiative and proactivity in order to take full advantage of the opportunities and progress professionally and personally as a participant in the Renewable Energy Trainee Programme at ENGIE - and thus make a valuable contribution to the energy transition.

The article is based on an interview with Lennart, Talisa, Henning and Luise.

Graduate program

If you are interested in ENGIE's international graduate programme, you can find more information here.

Learn more!

Do you have any questions? Contact Judith!

Judith Valentin
HR Business Partner in the recruiting department at ENGIE Deutschland

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