Earlier this month, Oksana Klimenko, Max Tang, and Edouard Lotz, ESCP’s MSc in Energy Management (MEM) students participated in the “Youth Day 2019: Energy Challenge" after passing a rigorous selection process.
Their success can be largely attributed to the innovative approach the School co-creates the curriculum with its professors, alumni and top industry experts who make up the programme's Advisory Board, ensuring it remains aligned to the needs of the fast growing, dynamic but challenging industry.
About the Youth Day Energy Challenge 2019
The Youth Day 2019 is part of the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum and took place from 1st -4th October. It was held at the EXPOFORUM Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The project brought together industry experts and talented students from around the world to exchange knowledge, come up with new ideas and bring solutions to real-business challenges.
Building the future of the energy business
This year’s event had a new format, the youth day served as an educational and networking platform. Participants benefited from:
- Hearing the latest on the energy business, current opportunities and challenges
- Working on real business issues and put to the test their soft skills
- Meeting leading energy companies
The selection process
- The 1st stage was a 3-month on-line training programme in Virtual Academy. Participants had access to analytical material, webinars, discussion platform and expert assessment. The best 50 participants were selected for the 2nd stage
- The 2nd stage was a 3-day off-line meeting on the Youth Day. This year’s event had a fantastic programme that included training, workshops, meetings with top representatives from key energy companies and the Energy Challenge
Diving into this three-day challenge
[Day 1] Kick off: Students were mixed with participants from other universities and asked to work on different energy topics.
Edouard Lotz, current MEM student mentioned that his group had to discuss “What does the future of the oil and gas business hold? The Gig economy.” Team members were interviewed by representatives from Uniper, Boskalis, OMV and Wintershall Dea.
- The current companies’ operations and mid to long-term strategies
- How these businesses aim at reducing their CO2 emissions?
- How companies are investing into digital solutions and if this would imply a reduction on number of employees
- How companies can be fully prepared once their power plants, oil and gas facilities are fully automated
The team concluded that:
- Blockchain: This technology could be really useful among the energy supply chain as it can enable us to share information faster, more efficiently and with cost-effectiveness
- Additional benefits: Blockchain can be also used to create a unique platform where available short-term workers in the oil and gas sector can be listed and could allow companies to hire staff for their specific operations
- Best practice: How can companies to attract and retain skilled workers for specific operations
[Day 2] The challenge if you wish to accept it: Oksana Klimenko, current MEM student said “This was the most challenging day, but nonetheless the most interesting one”. She mentioned that students were asked to:
- Take part in the game “Charge the City”: Teams were very diverse and preliminarily assigned. Participants had a fantastic chance to put their soft skills to the test working together in a truly international environment.
- The challenge: Teams were asked to find the best possible energy mix to provide electricity to the city, considering stakeholders
- Flexibility was key: There were several disruptions and changes during the game that required us to adapt the project quickly
- Excellent teamwork: This was vital to tackle all problems and to cooperate on three main areas (technical, financial and corporate)
“We had an assigned expert from partner companies (Wintershell Dea, Schneider Electric, Gazprom, etc.) who supported us. We had to present our findings and we were challenged by questions from the Jury. At the end of the exercise we were really thrilled with the results as our work was highly ranked, we were one of the top three teams” said Oksana.
[Day 3] Meeting the CEOs and other top representatives: For the last day, participants had the chance to meet with CEOs from leading energy companies.
“Each team had the opportunity to welcome a CEO and discuss specific topics. We had the honour to welcome Han Fennema, the CEO of Gasunie - a Dutch company operating in gas infrastructure – and discuss the latest about energy transition” said Edouard.
“As a group, we wanted to know what was his point of view on global warming, the need to decarbonise the energy sector, and what Gasunie’s approach is. He explained the range of solutions the company is looking to implement in the Netherlands, such as: carbon capture, hydrogen and biogas. These options aimed at reducing the footprint of the company but also the gas sector in the country” concluded Edouard.
Overall, Youth Day was an unforgettable experience that not only provided us with interesting insights about energy and modern waves in this industry, but what is more important allowed us to meet people from all over the world including students from around the world, CEOs and representatives of the biggest energy companies” added Oksana.
Max Tang, current MEM student shared some learnings he got from this year’s event:
- Preparation is key for this three-day challenge: If you want to win, remember that everything counts!
- The Virtual academy: This is the most important part during the selection process, so make sure to do your best.
- Take some risk to standout: Show your passion for the industry, your enthusiasm and your leadership skills. But more importantly, enjoy every minute of it!
Interested in becoming an energy expert and make a real impact in the industry? Check out how ESCP's MSc in Energy Management will equip you with the tools you'll need!