Bhavita Lacmane started in April 2020, as an intern at Protium and has seen a year of great change, both within the company and the industry. Here are her thoughts on the year in review and what she sees for the future.
Why I wanted to go into Green hydrogen after I graduated?
Like most starry-eyed graduates that are suddenly hit with making pivotal career decisions, in a foggy job market; I was overwhelmed with opportunities but had one goal in mind, positive change! Mitigating climate change is the most important impact our generation can provide and transitioning away from the traditional energy sector will greatly influence the environment and the quality of our lives.
As green hydrogen was gaining meaningful traction and saw a dive in production costs; more deployment of commercial applications in the UK would be inevitable. Although green hydrogen is not a new technology, changes in equipment, renewable electricity costs, and scale have made it a key tool for decarbonising our energy needs – working in a company at the forefront of this new sector is very exciting. How we use the hydrogen we produce is interesting to study because of its versatility in a range of industries, where it can be a critical, and now a much needed,, alternative to fossil fuels. Deployment of green hydrogen infrastructure and assisting emissive industries to reach net zero is the meaningful positive change I was looking for in my career.
Why Protium and how has my experience changed throughout the year?
I am pleased to work for a company whose values and mission I align with. The solutions Protium proposes to its clients are tailored to their specific needs and embrace a whole system approach to deliver the best pathway to decarbonisation. It is also great that Protium identifies the importance of diversity and inclusion within both the company and the industry. I have been able to immerse myself in a growing team with various personal and professional backgrounds, where everyone can fit in. This makes me more comfortable to learn as well as keen to contribute ideas that I have formed through my exposure to a variety of concepts and opinions that often shifts my perspective of the sector.
My level of responsibility has climbed a steep curve since joining and continues to accelerate, and my day to day is rarely routine. The transition from being an intern to a project analyst was especially steep – I became exposed to more work streams like business development and began collaborating on projects as well as assisting on various project management activities. I was given opportunities to take the lead on tasks, which made me feel valuable and allowed me to practise leadership skills. This experience has placed me in a better position to take on ambiguous tasks and has drastically increased my confidence. I am thankful for the patience and support I have received – it is fantastic to be able to work for a cause and team I admire.
Challenges in starting Lockdown (i.e.) not working in a normal way and how has that effected my role?
The challenges of onboarding as a new employee in a virtual workspace provided some uncertainty regarding my role within the team, and within an evolving company culture. Digital miscommunication and unfamiliarity of work culture have also been factors that play into to the difficulty of working from home. The physical distance made it hard to integrate, which made me more anxious to ask questions. But once I became used to the ‘new normal,’ I realised my potential to be self-sufficient and independent, which I now understand are key skills in an SME. Integrating was also made easier because Protium made a lot of effort in organising online social events. Whilst these can feel forced by larger companies the effort my colleagues took to spend time online and put aside work chat helped me to get them to know them and become more comfortable engaging with them, something that was even more challenging when the company was only 4 people!
How I see my future going at Protium and beyond?
Protium and I share a closely aligned journey and I am keen to be a part of that evolution as the company and our projects continue. There are already a lot of exciting projects that I would like to be a part of and see through to the implementation phase (fingers crossed!). Having a hand at leading certain phases of the projects would be a semi short term goal and becoming an established member of the green hydrogen or even the green energy network would be long term. I would like to use my experiences and knowledge to facilitate roll out of more green energy projects globally and work on holding emissive industries accountable for unsustainable practices. Taking on more responsibility, advancing my technical ability, improving leadership and communication skills are attributes I would like to work on with Protium and beyond.
I got into Protium to make a difference for my and future generations. At Protium I have grown and been able to make a big impact on a global challenge as part of a small team delivering critical projects. I am excited for my second year at Protium as I continue to develop my career and see our projects begin reducing emissions in the UK!