Caitlin McCluskie - Commercial Graduate
First, tell us a bit about yourself! What programme did you join at SSE and where are you based?
I joined the SSE Business and Commercial Graduate Programme in September 2020. I am based out of the Glasgow
What did you study at university?
I graduated from the University of the West of Scotland in 2020 with a Bachelor of Accounts with honours.
Which sectors did you consider applying to for your graduate role? What made you choose SSE and the area you are now working in?
As I have an accounting degree/background, I also applied for graduate roles based in the finance industry. I chose SSE as the graduate programme stood out from others I had applied for due to the opportunity to work in a wide range of teams and for the career progression / opportunities available. Also, the industry and business area stood out from other places I applied to as the push for net zero becomes an increasing focus of legislation and countries around the world, which I had begun to research as part of my dissertation.
How did you find the recruitment process? Do you have any advice for students considering applying for the SSE Graduate Programmes?
The recruitment process was challenging but this made it stimulating and thought provoking, as most graduate processes are (this is not a bad thing). The SSE one was a stand-out from others due to how well communicated each stage of the process was. The various stages were well explained and hosted on platforms that were easy to navigate. It is good to research SSE in general, with a particular focus on our net zero journey, not just in terms of our renewable portfolio (wind and hydro), but other projects we are doing to achieve this (EVs / Smart Cities etc).
Tell us a bit about your current role?
I am 1 year into the Business and Commercial Graduate Programme. I have worked in renewables and business energy as part of my first-year placements. This gave me a very good understating of the business as it allowed me to learn about our current portfolio and new projects we have in the pipeline while I was in renewables but when I moved to the business energy side of SSE (the customer facing aspect), it allowed me to see the opposite end from renewables. I had seen how we generated and used our assets and then had the opportunity to see how it is sold / passed on to customers. This role is great as you get exposure to multiple teams and business areas. For me, the most enjoyable part is being able to get involved in lots of different projects across various businesses in SSE. We have such a great opportunity to move around and experience more than one area of the business.
Anything else to add?
I applied for lots of grad schemes while at uni and at a first glance the SSE programme was not as obvious a fit for me as finance / accounting related programmes, which made me nervous and apprehensive about applying. However, in the early weeks of starting this programme, it became clear that this programme was excellent and that I was very lucky to be accepted onto the programme. I couldn’t imagine myself on another grad programme, even ones that might have fit more traditionally with my university background.