David J.

Project Director
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

David J.
Public Administration
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Project Director
RWE Renewable Energy Systems
Environment and energy
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Project Director in Taiwan

Make sure you come across as someone who can deliver value to a prospective employer and be not just another graduate who offers very little and needs lots of development.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

RWE Renewable Energy Systems is the third largest global renewable energy company and the world's largest offshore wind operator. Our core business the the development, operation and commercialisation of onshore wind, offshore wind and solar projects.

What do you do?

I am the Director of large scale offshore wind projects. I lead multi-disciplinary teams that transforms projects from a single offshore permit through to a project with a full business case, all key contracts negotiated, a route-to-market to sell electricity secured, full technical designs, etc. ready to be approved for investment by the Board and handed over to a construction team.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Having a diverse career background and transferable skills. I am a generalist, not a specialist, and I really working on a number of diverse topics at once.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes. I was initially focused on progressing within the Civil Service, however I was offered a great opportunity within the Renewables industry and have not looked back.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Memorable for all the wrong reasons: The shock of hearing that the company I worked for at the time, Innogy SE, was subject of a takeover and break-up by two other industry players; our 70% majority shareholder and an industry competitor. It really disrupted my career and all I had worked for over the years. Many of my colleagues, including the COO that I was mentored by and worked for, exited the company. It took a little while to get my my career back on track and find a new position due to the restructuring and integration of the company, but it worked out in the end. This was a stressful time for me personally, watching everything I had worked for over the years slowing coming to an end.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Working in a large corporate has many challenges. There is politics to deal with, competing priorities and trying to get the time and attention of Board Members and other Senior Directors. Good communicating and influencing skills are essential to succeed.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

Being involved in student associations aligned with the industry I wanted to work in. These get you involved in the current industry topics, make you knowledge and credible when you speak to people in the industry and help you develop the organisational, communication and influencing skills that are needed from graduates in today's job market.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I would like to lead the development of a few different offshore wind projects to continue to develop my experience in this area.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Make sure you come across as someone who can deliver value to a prospective employer and be not just another graduate who offers very little and needs lots of development. Find out, through speaking with professionals in the industry, what skills, knowledge and experience are needed to succeed and make a plan to develop them.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

I am happy to answer any questions or provide advice on entering the Renewable Energy industry.

Next steps...

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