When I think about what really attracted me to Centrica as a place to start my career, I think it could be broken down into two main reasons.
Firstly, I wanted to be somewhere where I'd gain experience and exposure in a number of different business areas. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to focus, and the thought of taking a gamble and doing something specific for 2 or 3 years only to realise that it wasn't for me made me worry. Centrica's grad scheme, unlike some others, allows you to pretty much carve out your own journey through a set of 3 rotational 8-month placements. Before the start of each rotation, you are presented with a long list of varied and exciting job descriptions to freely choose from and apply to. I did an economics-related course at university so was naturally more inclined to pursue "commercial" based roles over core marketing. So far, I have worked in a Sales Channel Development Taskforce and in a Product Development Team, and have found both to be perfect fits for what I thought I wanted to do.
Secondly − and I'll tie this into projects that I have worked on − Centrica is in a unique position to support the road to net zero for business and customers. Heat pumps, EV chargers, sustainable energy, hydrogen, smart meter roll-outs, EV fleets − all key points on almost any government net-zero strategy document, and all products or services that we either sell, install, or are currently developing. It was clear to me that with all of this will come incredible opportunities to work on truly meaningful projects with no shortage of things to get stuck into.
The first project I was really able to deliver in my very first placement was to enable British Gas engineers to sell a Hive subscription service that helps customers save more money on their energy bills through providing personalised energy-saving tips. I delivered that in collaboration with various different teams, end to end, with so far an additional 26k customers now being able to save up to around £40 a year on their heating bills. For me, it's hard not to feel a sense of pride in being able to achieve this no more than 8 months into my grad scheme. You are given space to do things your own way with lots of responsibility and with the support of your team and managers. Mistakes are allowed (to an extent...) and personal development is front and centre of all your work.
I work from home currently, 3 hours away from the central office, which has its pros and cons. But this hasn't prevented me from taking part in a huge variety of training on offer, from team building days in Windsor to an external apprenticeship qualification scheme and countless personal development workshops for presentation skills, personal branding, insights, and more. There are loads of opportunities to get involved in off-role activities; I have always tried to sign up to things like Assessment Centre facilitation, presentations to could-be grads and talks to university students, as I like to give back to a scheme that has given me so much and they are also useful for developing my public speaking and presentation skills.
Partially as a result of this, I was awarded the position of Graduate Talent Manager for this year’s Summer Interns, which is a position with a lot of responsibility. It involves supporting them over their time here and ensuring they have continuous development and social opportunities as well as providing them with a list of roles to choose from. I would say this is a clear step forwards in my career progression path.
Overall, the culture at Centrica is empowering and welcoming, and you are made to feel from a very early stage that you can make a real difference and won't just be another cog in the machine. This is vital to me and so I am able to take real pride in the work I do.