Graduate profiles

You can watch video profiles and read accounts from some of the current and previous participants of our Graduate Development Programme below.

Profile headshot of Doerte Schneemann

Doerte Schneemann

Graduate Trainee on the Graduate Development Programme

Profile headshot of Lewis Heather

Lewis Heather

Senior Manager, Consumers and Competition

Profile headshot of Amy Freund

Amy Freund

Graduate Trainee on the Graduate Development Programme

Background

I graduated with an MPhys from the University of Manchester. My degree included a year studying abroad in Germany and I also undertook some postgraduate research before joining Ofgem. I was motivated to apply to the programme because of the importance of Ofgem’s work – energy policy is a significant current issue - and the ability to develop a wide range of skills through the rotation placements. The training, development opportunities and career progression also attracted me to the scheme - I haven’t been disappointed.

Experience of the programme

I am approaching the end of my first placement, which is in the Smarter Grids and Governance Division. For the first three months I worked within the Distribution Policy Team and I am currently working in the European Transmission Team. Although I only joined the programme six months ago, I have already experienced a wide range of work areas and started to understand how the different divisions relate to each other. The work has been interesting and I have already had the opportunity to work on some important projects including Smart Metering, European electricity Network Codes and consumer facing issues.

Benefits of experience

The biggest benefit has to be the breadth of experience the programme provides access to. It gives a great insight into how the organisation works and its goals and a broad awareness of how the area I am working on fits in with Ofgem’s broader objectives. It has also given me the opportunity to build a network of contacts through cross-team working. I have enjoyed opportunities to work on important areas and have appreciated how supportive and friendly the teams I’ve worked with have been - everyone is always happy to answer any questions. The programme’s training and development opportunities are also a huge benefit. I have found the course at the Florence School of Regulation really useful on all aspects of energy regulation, particularly as my background is in science rather than Economics. There are also a broad range of internal training opportunities throughout the programme and beyond, such as effective communication and project management. There is a great support network within Ofgem, both within the teams I’ve worked with, and with the other graduates – not only those on the Programme at the moment, but also those that have moved into permanent positions here. Although we mostly work in different departments while on rotation, we often have training courses together and we meet up socially, at lunch or other times.

Aspirations for future

Already in my first placement I have had experience of projects that impact on other areas of the organisation. I am looking forward to my future placements in the other teams to experience different areas and types of work and strengthen the links I have begun to build. I would love to stay with Ofgem and certainly intend to seek out a permanent position at the end of the programme. The development opportunities and prospects for career progression are really strong throughout the organisation. It’s hard to say where that might be at the moment as I still have so much to experience.

Profile headshot of Joseph Baddeley

Joseph Baddeley

Graduate Trainee on the Graduate Development Programme

Background

I studied Physics and Astronomy at Durham University and graduated with an M.Phys in 2009. My final year project focused on identifying and modelling Dark Matter annihilation. Before taking up my position with Ofgem, I worked briefly for Ofsted as well as for an events management company.

Experience of the programme

I am one of the lucky graduates who has had the opportunity to spend three months in Brussels at the Secretariat of CEER (the Council of European Energy Regulators). In addition to my work here, I am also continuing several Ofgem projects that I started before coming to Belgium. Prior to moving to Brussels I have experienced four placements across Ofgem, as well as completing residential training with the Florence School of Regulation. My first rotation was with Electricity Transmission Policy team in the Smarter Grids and Governance division, where I worked on a billion pound project involving cabling between Scotland and Wales. From there I moved to the Offshore division where my time was divided between two teams looking at the enduring tendering policy and the coordination of offshore networks. After that I worked with the Retail Market team, whose focus was more consumer driven than my previous rotation experiences. I was given an effective step-up in responsibility during this rotation and, working closely with a colleague, wrote a chapter on fixed-term tariffs for an external consultation document, as part of the Retail Market Review, one of Ofgem’s flagship projects. My most recent rotation prior to my work at CEER was with the Wholesale Markets team, working on European issues. This experience helped me gain a good understanding of European markets and how our domestic market fits within that. I worked on a European Network Code with my gas colleagues and on the availability of interconnectors with the electricity team.

Benefits of experience

I think the main benefit the programme delivers is the breadth of exposure to the organisation, providing a good understanding to how the different elements of Ofgem all link up. I know when I begin a new rotation that I won’t have the depth of knowledge that others in the team will have, but I am still able to bring something to the team from the knowledge I have gained from related departments. Repeatedly being the newest member of a team also brings benefits. I feel I am now better at meeting new people, getting up-to-speed on projects and have improved my skills in areas such as giving presentations and managing meetings.

Aspirations for future

I still have six months left on the Programme and feel it is a little early to define my exact plans for the future. I want to work in more areas before I pin down in which one I would like to begin my career. I think the overriding sense I have at this point is the excitement of working in an area that is so important to our society. Sustainability, security of supply, energy prices; these are such hot topics at the moment – I am enjoying working for an organisation that is working through such really big questions.

Profile head shot of Siobhán Carty

Siobhán Carty

Senior Manager, European Electricity Transmission Policy

Current position

As a Senior Manager for European Electricity Transmission Policy in the Transmission division, I am the project manager and policy co-ordinator for a large project that is looking at how electricity transmission investment is identified and delivered across the GB system. My team asks questions such as: “Does the market have the right signals to plan the system properly; do the regimes deliver investment appropriately?” The project has the potential to play a key role in determining what Britain’s future electricity network will look like.

Background

I am a graduate of University College Dublin where I studied for an International BA in Economics and Politics and of the University of Ireland, Maynooth, where I achieved an MA in Economics.

Experience of  the programme

I worked for Ofgem as a graduate trainee on the Graduate Development Programme between 2006 and 2008. During that time I was involved in several rotations. These included six months in Offshore Transmission in the Networks division, six months in the Environmental Programmes team and several months in Brussels supporting the team creating a common European framework for national regulators. My work during the rotations was interesting and challenging. I was part of the energy supply probe, conducting analysis of retail companies’ pricing strategies through structured interviews and the analysis of business plans. I was also responsible for Ofgem’s approach to market-led switching sites. I contributed to the early development of the competitive regime for offshore networks through consultation drafting and engagement with stakeholders; and I gained a firm understanding of the European legislative framework during a secondment with the European Regulators’ Group in Brussels.

Benefits of experience

I think the Programme delivered a range of different benefits, but in particular, it gave me an excellent grounding into the whole of Ofgem’s work. It gave me a good insight into how the different divisions fit together and how the work of one area can be linked to the work of others. It also gave me the chance to work with and learn from others. Even from the point when I was at the assessment centre applying for the Programme I met people who were clear role models that I aspired to be like. That situation is still true today where I work with brilliant people who I learn from every day. There is a vibrant and exciting atmosphere where it is ok to be young and senior. There was no question of doing the photocopying for three years before you could work your way up.

Aspirations for future

When I started the Graduate Development Programme, my aspiration was to become seen as a trusted pair of hands, someone that can manage project and get things done while still having understanding of policy, analysis and making right decisions. Today my goals are still similar. I want to be a good manager who makes effective decisions.