Name: Mercedes Olster
Title: Operations and Strategy Specialist
Employer: Enel North America
City/Town of Residence:
Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry?
My MBA program really got me interested in the industry.
What interested you in working at your current employer?
Enel has a great sustainability mission woven into everything they do. It really grabbed my attention when I was applying. I learned about Enel X through a case study in grad school but when I found Enel Green Power, I decided that was more in line with what I wanted to do for a career.
Describe the work you do in more detail.
My role is similar to that of a Chief of Staff. I support the Head of Engineering and Construction for US, Canada, and Mexico. I am responsible for tackling projects that he doesn't have the time to follow but would like completed. I am also responsible to help prepare any communications he may need to deliver and keep a pulse on the day-to-day activities of the organization. I work closely with Enel's leadership team to accomplish these requests and also bring their concerns forward.
What aspect of your job excites you most? Why?
I am most excited to learn why the business makes the decisions it does and to get to see what an executive does on the day-to-day.
What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire?
There is a lot of attention on the energy transition in NH and policies are starting to change to favor clean energy. It's an exciting time to watch the change happening.
What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state?
I think that there is difficulty in policy that we might be able to get around (like the 2MW cap on solar installs.) Additionally, lack of workforce is going to be a big challenge. We are close to Massachusetts who pays significantly higher wages which is something we will always have to compete with.
What interested you most about being part of YPiE?
I am always looking for ways to get involved and dive further into the energy community. To me, networking is one of the most important tools that a professional has. Getting to know more people and understand different parts of the industry will only make me better at my job.
What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college?
Find a company that you align with and will be happy to work at, and don't give up if you aren't hired right away. Keep applying. Network and build relationships with as many professionals in the industry as you can like Young Professionals in Energy (YPiE), Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), Women's Energy Network (WEN) etc. and always be open to learning.
A typical weekend for me is…
Hanging out with my friends, family, and of course my pets.
What’s on your bucket list?
Travel to Europe.
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
I'm a huge introvert.