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International, diverse & motivated

RWE trainees got to know each other at the second international meet-up at Paffendorf castle

Young, motivated and international

Many trainees have the opportunity to get to grips with the world of RWE through a 24-month training programme with the Company. Over 40 highly inquisitive trainees from the entire Company came together at the second international meet-up of the trainee network, which was held at Paffendorf castle. 

Some are about to embark on their careers, others have just begun their trainee programme, while others are mid-way through or even finished, but they all have one thing in common: they are undertaking a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the world of RWE. From opencast mines, to power plants, right through to the trading floor, our younger colleagues pass through many places on their tour – and sometimes even end up in different countries. 

From the Rhenish lignite mining area to America

Simon is one of these lucky individuals – the mechanical engineering graduate will be a trainee in the Central Hydropower Engineering department of RWE Power until October. After starting at the headquarters in Essen, he headed to the Herdecke pumped-storage power plant to build on his knowledge of plant technology and help colleagues on site plan the major overhaul of the power station in 2020. He is currently assigned to Vianden in Luxembourg: “Being able to contribute to the major overhaul has been really exciting. You don’t get to experience something like that every day,” he says. The trainees are encouraged to gain experience at different locations and learn as much as possible. Of course, they also learn how to take on important tasks after they complete their trainee programme. That’s why Simon supports project management, writes daily reports and takes on responsibility for sub-projects. “I really wanted to work in the area of energy generation, as I focused on power engineering as part of my degree. Moreover, the overall energy supply structure, from electricity trading through to the rotating turbine on the production side, offers the perfect combination for an engineer – and that’s just one of many reasons why I chose RWE. Its location also appealed to me, because I actually come from the Ruhr region and wanted to return here after finishing my studies in Hanover,” he says. Leonard, Technical Traineeship RWE Generation, who comes from the Netherlands, has always dreamed of helping to shape the energy transition. He went from the Amer power plant to the power station in Dormagen: “I’ve been able to learn a lot from my colleagues – not just about gas power plants, but also about the German language and culture.” 

RWE offers traineeships in many areas including mining. Malte has been stationed at the Hambach opencast mine since November where he has been working as an on-site supervisor in the three-shift system for six months. “The thing that I like best about it is that I get the opportunity to take a hands-on approach as an engineer and work with lots of people on site,” he says. A few more short placements are already on the horizon for him: The head office in Cologne, Water Management, the other two opencast mines and RWE Power’s power stations. “We are offered the chance to get to grips with real-life working conditions from our very first day as trainees. We get plenty of time to become familiar with all aspects of the Company, which makes the programme very attractive, as not all companies offer something like this,” the young engineer highlights. When it comes to predicting the future, he’s sure that his work will never get boring: “Because of the transformation that we’re currently going through, many tasks will end up being assigned to engineers. That’ll be exciting, and I’m already looking forward to playing a part in the process.”

Natalie is a member of the first generation of RWE Finance trainees. She has been almost everywhere there is to go: she began her journey in Group Controlling at RWE AG, followed by a sojourn in the Netherlands, where she was in charge of Asset Controlling for the Amer and Eemshaven power stations. She then returned to RWE AG to support Investor Relations, and she spent her final placement in Risk Controlling at RWE Supply & Trading in London. This goes to show that the Group-wide IT  trainee programme also gives participants the chance to work at all Group companies.

Pia, Sales and Business Development trainee at RWE Technology International, emphasises: “A lot of doors are open to you here at RWE, and you can really show where your strengths lie while receiving support at all times.” Pia produced a video for the network meet-up together with Kai Hense from the Communications department of RWE Supply & Trading.

However, many of those present at Paffendorf castle got inspiration from other trainees on where they should go next: “I’ve been able to make the right contacts here, and with a little bit of luck, I’ll be heading to America soon,” says a beaming Anna, trainee at RWE Technology International. She has worked at the Company since October and has already been based in Essen and at the Herdecke pumped-storage power plant, where she was able to learn from colleagues while incorporating her own ideas. She is currently located at the Eemshaven power plant and likes this site the best: “I am working on a biomass project and there’s always something happening, which I think is really exciting and fun.” 

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RWE offers traineeships in many areas ...

Concentrated energy at Paffendorf castle

Participants didn’t just share personal experiences and make contacts in the regal atmosphere of the castle or outdoors in the warm sunshine – teamwork was also on the agenda for the network event. The programme put together by the organisation team for the day was diverse and called for everyone to get involved and share their ideas. An informal ‘speed dating’ event for participants to quickly get to know each other was followed by workshops on the future of RWE and the issue of emotional intelligence. The air throughout the entire event crackled with energy, and everyone was fully committed to the tasks at hand. For example, they had a lively discussion with Katja van Doren, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHO) at RWE Generation about the future of RWE, in which the speaker clearly conveyed transaction-related issues and the ‘new’ RWE. The trainees thoroughly enjoyed the experience: “My personal highlight was Katja van Doren’s visit. I think it’s fantastic that she holds the network and us young people in such great esteem. She gave us a great overview of how things stand and also told us a lot of things that I never knew before,” said Pia, who was also at the first network meet-up last year.

Cross-border organisation

A lot of international co-operation was needed to organise the event: Leonard (trainee at RWE Generation NL), Patrick (trainee at RWE Technology International), Natalie (trainee at RWE Supply & Trading) and Amrit (trainee at RWE Generation UK) all come from different sites and spent six months planning for the day and getting the programme off the ground. 

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