Faces of Acre • Young Professionals in Energy • Quentin Klein

22 February 2024 by Quentin Klein
blog author

​​Behind every impactful role we place, every team we build and every effort we make to create systemic change for our planet and society by activating people’s potential; lies our team of passionate, sustainability-minded individuals. Our ongoing ‘Faces of Acre’ series helps us take a step back from the day-to-day to shine a spotlight on the people who make us who we are, giving them a platform to share their passions, speak up about important topics and talk about the pro bono initiatives they take part in.

This instalment relates to work being done by Quentin Klein, principal consultant in our US Cleantech and Energy Team, with non-profit organization Young Professionals in Energy (YPE).

What is YPE and how does it work?
YPE is a global network of experienced industry professionals who support the advancement of young professionals in the energy industry.

Its mentorship programs aim to help aspiring energy professionals determine a career path to help them land the best jobs in the industry. Once accepted into the program, a mentee will join us for a series of in-person sessions which feature networking practice, seminars on industry topics, and workshops on personal improvement. Mentors will help mentees prepare for interviews, write better resumes and plan their career goals.

What made you want to get involved with Young Professionals in Energy?
I started my career as a Mechanical R&D Engineer, developing vehicle survival technologies in the defence sector (blast-proofing vehicles). I had an obsession with cars and loved automotive engineering but felt my skills could be put to better use by blending my commercial and technical acumen. At the time, there was an opportunity to join a technical recruitment team in the eMobility landscape, and that’s how my journey started in this industry.

Reminiscing on my college years, I never had a solid mentor who could educate me on the industry I wanted to be in, so having the chance to be that mentor figure is something I couldn’t turn down. I applied to be a program mentor and was accepted to support the 2023-2024 cohort. Now, my objective is to offer the support I never had via a mentor after university.

Fortunately, I’ve had exposure to the majority of the cleantech landscape including an emphasis on early stage first-of-a kind technologies, so I have a well-rounded perspective to offer. I advise our mentees on different opportunities in the market of their interest, advise on career growth and career path variations while also teaching them how to proactively job hunt and land their dream jobs.

How does YPE identify rising stars in the global energy industry?
The screening process looks for high-performing students from diverse backgrounds who are motivated to have an impact on the industry. Getting rising stars to be involved in the energy industry is directly correlated to how much we, as industry professionals, can spread the word about what we are doing. We seek to find the individuals who already have a clear interest in the broader energy landscape, and we aim to bolster their understanding of the job market and maximize their career trajectories.

What are the greatest industry challenges?
I think the biggest challenge is available talent. Most technology being developed is new and education has not necessarily caught up with the pace at which technology is innovating. Organizations like YPE and energy internships are fundamentally critical to the expansion of this sector. We are getting much better at educating youth to increase the talent supply, but we still have a long way to go.

What’s in it for members of the program?
All mentors have their own professional networks which mentees can immediately benefit from in the form of having additional conversations, interviews, and overall increased job access. We introduce graduates to the industry, and ideally help land them a job (shoutout and big congrats to Ariane, my mentee who recently did just that). The ultimate benefit is support in landing a job, but each mentee will learn invaluable industry lessons, different career paths, and how to job hunt.

What are the main skill sets required for the energy industry?
Without engineers, energy technology never develops. Without manufacturing technicians and operators, it never gets built. Without sales, marketing and finance, the business doesn't sell products, and the industry doesn't move forward.

The more niche skill sets for a successful career in the energy industry involve the understanding of process development, product development and project development, which to me are three vital components to make the right impact.

You can get into the energy industry from any background, and this is why I love the work I do at Acre and with YPE.

Acre leverages its global network to help connect both early-stage and established players in the cleantech world with outstanding later career technical professionals; YPE does much of the same, but with a focus on building up the junior workforce.

How can aspiring energy professionals get involved?
YPE has opened recruitment for their 2024-2025 cohort this month. Program commencement will be in Q3, but applicants will be interviewed and selected in advance. The application period is anticipated to run through the end of April.

Click here to learn more or to apply.