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Renew, rotate, revitalize: One employee’s experience in the RES rotational training program

by RES | Jun 24, 2024 | Reading time: 3 min

By Alyssa Kalac, Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Coordinator, RES

As an early career professional with a major in Environmental studies and double minors in Business and Sustainability, I wanted to join a company making significant strides in sustainability efforts. The RES rotational training program (RTP) caught my attention due to RES’ vision — a future where everyone has access to affordable zero-carbon energy.

Despite my initial misconception that the energy field exclusively welcomed electrical engineers or project managers, I was excited to discover a program that embraced entry-level individuals with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for renewables. After completing the application and an extensive interview process, I was thrilled to land the job.

Flash forward, and I’ve just concluded my final rotation within RES’ program, which spans four six-month rotations over the course of two years. I had roles within Contracts, Services, HSQE (health, safety, quality, environment), and Marketing teams. Each team offered a unique learning experience and gave me a new perspective of how the business operates.

During my time on the contracts team, I was an intermediary between our clients and internal stakeholders. Transitioning to Support Services I contributed to the maintenance and operational efficiency of RES’ solar, wind and battery sites. In the HSQE rotation, I worked directly with the environmental team to conduct desktop audits to ensure that all required environmental inspections were complied with during construction.

In my final rotation within Marketing, I was involved with the rollout of our global media tracking strategy, contributing to the development of the global “Power for Good” report, and monitoring regulatory affairs and legislation impacting the renewable energy industry. I also had the opportunity to participate in two lobby days in Washington, D.C. Attending the lobby day afforded me the chance to engage directly with House representatives, advocating for the importance of renewable energy tax credits in sustaining our industry. Participating in such advocacy efforts not only reinforced my understanding of the pivotal role of regulatory frameworks but also underscored the significance of active engagement in shaping industry-wide initiatives.

Beyond the experience gained, I had many great opportunities to travel for professional development. I went on two solar site trips alongside my RTP program colleagues and leaders to provide insight into site operations and the daily routine of the field workers. I also traveled to Arkansas, where I shadowed the onsite environmental supervisor. Both site visits were very valuable in understanding how office operations directly affect site activity. I was right in the action, hard hat and steel-toed boots on.

As I worked through the RTP, the Marketing team specifically stood out to me as a team where I was able to see myself long-term. I was fortunate enough to receive an offer to continue my work in regulatory affairs, serving as the liaison between RES and industry trade associations. I will also take on more responsibility for sustainability initiatives.

Transitioning from the RTP to my new role as Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Coordinator, I’m excited to take this step in my career. With a focus on embedding sustainability into our business, I’ll be developing and delivering annual sustainability plans and presenting initiatives to internal and external audiences. Additionally, I’ll lead a task force for sustainability and spearhead another committee for community engagement, while curating content for our annual “Power for Good” report. Continuing in my policy work, I’ll ensure RES has resources available to be aware and understand what is happening in legislation that can impact the industry.

I’m eager to contribute to RES’ mission of accelerating the access people have to clean, affordable energy. The RTP program helped me to understand our business holistically and hone my skills so that I can apply them to a growing team. 

  • Image above: RTP associated and others member of the RES Dever office at a local volunteer event.
  • Image at top of article: Alyssa in Washington D.C. for lobby day.

Find out more about careers at RES here.

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