Philippe Wellens, engineer at International Energy in Dubaï
Philippe is a young engineer from Belgium. He works for ENGIE in Dubai in the International Energy Business Line and works with the South Asia, Middle East and Africa region. How did he join the Group, and what are his plans?
He speaks to Human Energies.
What are your qualifications ?
I trained in mechanical civil engineering at the École Polytechnique of Louvain (Belgium), during which I had the opportunity to spend a year in Sweden at Lunds Tekniska Högskola (Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering) on Erasmus exchange. I loved this international adventure. Once I gained my engineering Masters, I then decided to expand my career horizons with a post-master in Management at the Vlerick Business School (Belgium). The wide variety of subjects taught during this extra year allowed me to get a perspective on my specialised training and broadened my education.
What has your career path been so far ?
I joined the Group via a programme run by Electrabel (Belgian subsidiary of ENGIE) for young graduates, called the «General Management Traineeship». This 2-year programme gives each participant the opportunity to work on 4 projects within the subsidiary and/or the Group’s different departments. This was how I took my first steps into the energy world via a project at a nuclear plant in Belgium, followed by 6 months managing the portfolio in Belgium, Holland and Germany, then 6 months within the financial department (AIFA), supporting international investments, and finished up with 6 months in Business Development in Dubai. I was fortunate at the end of the programme to continue by assuming a role between the Business Development and Strategy departments in Dubai. I have now been in this role for one and a half years.
Was the «General Management Traineeship» beneficial ?
This programme was extremely useful for several reasons. Leaving education, it is not easy to choose the right company, far less the right department. This programme allows you to assume different roles, which enables you to better understand your skills and preferences. It also enables you to create a network and to get to know the company inside out, in order to become operational much more quickly. The vision of the entire Group and the understanding of its challenges at different levels is really significant and necessary in order to be immediately beneficial.
Do you work within a team ?
Day to day, I primarily work on «business development» issues, which naturally involves working as a team. The Business Development department handles the coordination of investment and acquisition projects. For each project, the technical, financial and legal elements must be structured into a coherent whole. It therefore frequently happens that I work with the technical, financial and legal members of the team over the course of one day. This guarantees maximum variety in my job – it is one of the aspects I love – and no two days are the same.
What would you like to do in the future, which direction would you like to move in ?
That’s a question I often ask myself and the answer is constantly changing. The energy market is in a period of dramatic (r)evolution, particularly in the field of renewable and in emerging markets. At the moment I would like to be part of this revolution and to be more involved on solar, wind and geothermic projects, and work on these internationally.