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Marah Harper - Engineering Graduate

First, tell us a bit about yourself! What programme did you join at SSE and where are you based?  

My name is Marah Halper, I’m 22 years old, originally from the US, I moved to England in 2016 where I got my undergraduate degree before moving to Scotland to join the SSE Networks Graduate Programme in September 2019. I’m currently working in the Transmission sector of the business and am based in Glasgow.

What did you study at university?

I studied for a BEng in Energy Engineering at University of Exeter.

Which sectors did you consider applying to for your graduate role? What made you choose SSE and the area you are now working in?

Since my degree is in Energy Engineering, I always knew I wanted to work in the energy and power industry. My degree was mostly focussed on renewable energy and low carbon technologies so I was looking for a company that is aiming to make a positive impact in the energy industry and be a part of the solution to ambitious government carbon reduction goals such as Net Zero 2045/2050. SSE has committed to many of these goals and I saw a lot of opportunity in the power network sector of SSE, because a large part of the network has to adapt to the changing energy landscape full of low carbon generation technologies.

How did you find the recruitment process?  Do you have any advice for students considering applying for the SSE Graduate Programmes?

The recruitment process for SSE’s Graduate Programme is rigorous and has many stages to it but it was a very exciting feeling to get those emails saying that I’ve qualified for the next stage of the process. My advice for future applicants would mostly be to just be yourself and be passionate about the jobs you are applying for. We didn’t study for years to end up in a career that we don’t enjoy, and SSE’s Graduate Programme offers a lot of guidance and support in starting a career in the energy industry.

Tell us a bit about your current role?

My current placement is office-based in a team called Network Planning. It’s a small team of only seven people that looks at the evolution of the North of Scotland’s transmission network on a long term scale, about 5 – 10 years in the future. These projections and models help to determine what future works need to be planned on the network and what can be presently done to help achieve them. Within the team I am currently working as an analyst, helping to write papers that contribute to forming the ‘big picture’ of the future for Scotland’s transmission network such as Energy Trends 2020 and North of Scotland’s Future Energy Scenarios.

I’ve definitely enjoyed my time in this team, as well as every team I’ve been a part of so far on the Graduate Programme – one thing I noticed immediately is networking is very easy in the company because everyone is friendly and welcoming. Managers encourage graduates to take opportunities to learn and network even if it differs from the work you’re currently doing. All together I’ve felt very supported in the programme and would recommend it to future graduates in their job search.