Finding a path into sustainable energy transition

Giulia Marzetti had just finished University when she joined Pioneers. She is a chemical engineer by profession. Giulia had always been fascinated by sustainability topics and wanted to have a career in this field, but she did not know where to begin.

It was at this point when she chose to apply to Pioneers, a decision that enabled her to start a new career path in sustainability. Giulia became a Pioneer and specialized in energy transitions—an area which she has become an expert in.

“My Pioneers experience was a bit unconventional, compared to other Pioneers, as I was building on my experiences from internships and other experiences I had from my studies,” she says.

Giulia’s Pioneers placement at the Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (ITE) in Spain focused on research and development of sustainable energy transition and new materials where she worked on two critical projects. For the first one, she was tasked to develop new materials for carbon capture membranes and market research and analysis for the products under development, which entailed conducting feasibility studies. She sought to be innovative in her approaches to the tasks. When speaking about her placement she mentions: “I reframed the problem creatively using tools such as visioning and back-casting to reach the desired outcome of developing a novel polymeric membrane. I choose to develop and explore products with less known materials in the literature, enhancing the innovation potential of the solution.” These projects enabled her to acquire various skills such as niche management and stakeholder management mapping—both of which she still applies in her current job.

As a young professional starting a career, she says that Pioneers was instrumental in providing networking opportunities with experts across Europe; and these relationships have been influential in establishing her career to this day. She still engages with her Pioneers cohort and works with various partners she met at the programme. She speaks highly of her coaches who were always prepared and willing to assist the her and fellow Pioneers in every way possible. “I am amazed with the coaches’ disposition to take feedback into consideration,” she says and continues: “Looking back to how the program has changed over the past three years, I believe the feedback given by Pioneers has shaped the program for the new cohorts, with the support of the coaches,” she ends.

Giulia commends Pioneers for enabling to find sustainable solutions in energy transitions. Pioneers taught her to be inquisitive, and to explore multiple dimensions of resolving an issue before coming up with a solution. The program also nudged her to assume responsibility—a leadership skill she has carried through her career. She speaks vividly of a time where she was working in the renewable sector and she had to take the initiative and put procedures in place that allowed maintenance of the plant and track records, which minimized errors at the plant.

Giulia believes Pioneers set her on the right stage for an entrepreneurial and sustainable path she had envisioned but did not know where and how to start. The program helped to consolidate her experience, and she advices anyone who is on the fence about the project, to take the bold step and be part of Pioneers.

The network is amazing and the experience will be forever etched in your career.