Sarah Mitchell, Business Development Lead talks about her career progression at E1

Sarah Mitchell, Business Development Lead talks about her career progression at E1

At EfficiencyOne, we pride ourselves on listening to employees. What we heard from our 2021 employee engagement survey is that employees want equal opportunities to compete for positions that become available, as well as opportunities to pursue training and engage in professional development. Supporting employee career progression is a key area of focus for our organization.    

Recently, we caught up with Sarah Mitchell, Business Development Lead, to share her story and career journey at E1.

10 years ago this May, I started working at Efficiency Nova Scotia. After completing a University degree in International Development with a focus on the environment, and traveling abroad for a couple of years, I came back to Halifax to pursue further education at NSCC. Having completed a year in the Construction Management program (a program chosen somewhat randomly), I applied for a one-year coop position with ENS’s Custom team, and have been with the organization since.

Coming in without a technical background, working in the Custom program was a learn-by-doing approach. When I was handed the pilot program of compressed air leak management, it was a great opportunity to learn about industrial facilities and the types of efficiency opportunities present.

During compressed air leak surveys, I worked on site scanning air lines and tagging leaks, but also speaking with equipment operators about the issues they noticed, or their ideas for improvement. These leak surveys provided a unique opportunity to gain insight into a facility’s operations, helping me to understand some of the challenges they faced in making improvements or implementing energy efficient upgrades. This knowledge helped me relate to industrial customers when I moved into my role as Business Development Manager 6 years ago. In this role, I have gained more appreciation for the barriers that industrials face in trying to reduce their energy consumption, and how we can help them to overcome these challenges. Now, having recently been promoted into a Lead BDM role working with the large industrials in NS, it has been exciting to develop a program that supports this sector in achieving their energy reduction targets, and allows me to continuously learn about their businesses, and what we can do to support them. Since starting with ENS, I have seen changes in how industrials approach energy management, and an increasing concern around GHG emissions. A key change is that the majority of these organizations now have GHG reduction targets to meet in the next few years, and we are in a position to help them on a project, and strategic level.

In the time I have spent at ENS, I feel that I have the opportunity to be challenged and learn something new almost daily, and this has been key to enjoying my work. I remember in my interview for the coop position, I was asked about the difference between voltage and current, and couldn’t answer it! So with my technical knowledge base starting at the beginning, I have had a lot to learn, and working with patient engineers has been essential to my learning. Having the opportunity to visit the companies and industries in this province has been so varied and interesting, and on many site visits, the theme song to the show “How It’s Made” runs through my head, only occasionally being hummed out loud.

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