Guest Speaker Series: How to make the most of your resources
Last month, Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Clean Energy Engineering alum Abhijeet Singh shared career insights with current students of Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Clean Energy Engineering, High Performance Buildings and Master of Health Leadership Policy in Seniors Care at the Technical Exchange Event. Abhijeet shared tips on being a proactive student to make the most of the master’s program and what to expect as you make a career out of your degree.
As a professional, Abhijeet has 7 years of experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Though he had initially planned to build his career in the IT sector, he decided it was time to transition into a new field after working in a solar energy company. Abhijeet found his passion for energy efficiency and decided to enrol in the MEL degree to elevate his career.
Today, Abhijeet is currently working as an Energy Specialist at BC Care Providers Association. He is responsible for helping clients with energy-related issues and goals by conducting data analysis, overseeing project implementation and assisting clients to get appropriate rebates from providers such as BC Hydro and Fortis BC. His main goal as an Energy Specialist is to reduce carbon emissions and increase financial savings for his client.
Shifting gears to move to a new country and a new industry can be a daunting task, especially for a successful professional with an established career. Yet, Abhijeet’s success in his new role proves that everyone can create the future they want for themselves by setting goals and committing to the professional development journey.
During the conversation with MEL and MHLP students, Abhijeet highlighted the diversity of roles and careers available as a graduate. “There are many jobs available, look for what you like and where your experiences lie.”
Upon migrating to Canada, Abhijeet noticed a wider range of opportunities in the clean energy sector. Enrolling in the MEL in Clean Energy Engineering program allowed him to gain knowledge, experience and make connections within the clean energy field in Canada.
Transitioning into the clean energy industry
As he transitioned into a new role and industry, Abhijeet highlighted that it was important for him to identify any gaps in skills related to his anticipated role.
“Create a career funnel, one for your current job and one for the job you want. This will help you narrow down from hundreds of potential job titles to identify the five to eight realistic job titles that you can transition into.”
This approach helped Abhijeet identify the difference and similarities between past professional experiences and the field he was transitioning into. The practise helps to gain a clear understanding of the gaps and define how to work towards building the skills needed for the new role.
During the process, Abhijeet also suggests talking to people and networking. “Networking helps you to understand profiles, procedures, and prepare you with information on what to expect as you transition – not just from sector to sector, but from the classroom into the job market.”
Growing your network
In addition to the technical skills and knowledge, Abhijeet emphasized the importance of strengthening one’s interpersonal skills and growing the professional network.
“Exposure to people and conversations can help you identify future goals and interests. Initially, I was hesitant to approach people in person and online to network. When we hesitate, it means we’re afraid to do something. There is nothing personal if someone turns you down when you approach them, they’re simply unavailable. Be hesitation-free, network and talk to everyone. When you let go of hesitation and ego, you make free dialogue and friendly connections. Energy connects energy; you’ll make valuable connections and friends when you make new connections” he states.
Leveraging your professional master’s degree
Being proactive and thinking ahead in the early months of the degree can set you up for success. Whether it is about leveraging the professional master’s degree to grow into a leadership role, or transition into a new sector or industry, planning ahead will help to make the process easier.
Abhijeet suggested mapping out the upcoming 12 months in the program and aligning them with your goals and desires. “This will allow you to visualize what needs to be done, helping you to tackle one task at a time.”
By using his degree roadmap, Abhijeet was able to make the most of his degree, and acquired skills and connections to achieve his professional goals.
The MEL and MHLP are professional graduate degrees designed to prepare experienced professionals to be leaders in their fields.
The unique interdisciplinary design of the program combines rigorous technical courses with a solid knowledge of business and interpersonal skills.
Together, these courses prepare students with the knowledge and experience required to effectively shape their careers, and their industry, as demonstrated by Abhijeet and other alumni alike.