Published: 23.05.2024

Esther Channer's Work Placement with Wind2: Insights and Reflections

Esther Channer is currently studying for a BSc in Geography and Natural Hazard Management at the University of Chester and joined Wind2 for a 5-week work placement.

Reflecting on her time with the Wind2 team, Esther shared her experiences, ambitions, and advice for others considering a work placement.

Gaining Practical Experience

Esther told us, "While studying at university, we have been developing our GIS skills, hazard assessment knowledge, and report writing, so it has been great to put those skills into practice in a real work context. My time with Wind2 has given me a solid understanding of how project-based companies operate and how team members collaborate."

Exploring Future Career Paths

"Thinking about my future career, I came into the placement a firm believer in renewable energy and sustainable practices but without the knowledge of what actually goes on. It has been incredibly valuable to learn about various industry topics, giving me food for thought on where I want to take my career after I finish my degree," Esther continued.

Valuable Work and Learning Opportunities

At Wind2, we believe in giving our work placement students tasks that provide genuine, valuable experience and make them feel part of the team. Esther highlighted, "I enjoyed completing my own small feasibility report on a site, which proved an excellent learning opportunity. I researched various elements of the wind farm planning process, exploring potential impacts and solutions."

Overcoming Challenges

When asked about challenges, Esther commented, "At the start of the placement, I was worried I wouldn't understand and retain all the information because there is so much more to renewable energy project planning than I originally thought. However, I was given plenty of time to research, and the team was very helpful whenever I needed assistance. They also arranged meetings that allowed me to learn more."

Key Mentorship and Support

Esther discussed the key influences during her time with Wind2: "Lucy Taylor, Project Coordinator, has been my mentor throughout my placement. She has always been happy to help and answer any questions. She taught me how to use QGIS and gave me pointers on the most useful aspects to research. Additionally, Lucy arranged meetings and activities that significantly expanded my learning."

Lucy commented, "Esther has come with a great attitude towards learning new skills. As my first work placement mentorship, I have learned a lot too. Esther is studying the same degree course at the University of Chester that I took, and I am proud to provide her and future students the opportunity to understand the renewable energy industry and apply the skills learned at university."

New Skills and Future Applications

When asked about the new skills she has gained and how she will use them going forward, Esther commented, "I have greatly improved my critical thinking, which has been useful for producing feasibility reports and evaluating potential risks. I have gained confidence in using QGIS, an industry-wide mapping program, and have a much better understanding of the renewable energy industry."

"Moving forward, I will apply critical thinking in my academic projects by thoroughly evaluating sources and constructing well-founded arguments. I plan to utilise my newly gained digital skills when handling complex datasets and producing detailed maps," Esther continued.

"Specifically, QGIS skills will be very helpful as I am basing my dissertation on geomatics. This knowledge will be beneficial for networking and future employment opportunities, as I can demonstrate a well-rounded awareness of the renewable energy field. It has been wonderful working within a team of people who share the same values and dedication," Esther concluded.

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