Picture this: the moment I had been eagerly awaiting, right before I stepped into narrating my time at the captivating conference – The Business Booster programme. It was a magnificent conference orchestrated by none other than EIT InnoEnergy. You see, I made a promise in my last post to unveil the juicy details of this event, but before we dive into the heart of it, let’s rewind a bit and trace my journey to securing a student assistance slot, which ultimately led me to this unforgettable experience.
This journey, the one I’m about to share with you, has been nothing short of transformational, both on a personal and professional level. However, there’s a vital part of my story that I’ve kept in the shadows, something that truly lured me into the enchanting programme at the EIT InnoEnergy Master School. It all began with the recommendation of a dear friend, but what truly ignited my interest were the irresistible incentives available to students, in particular, the TBB InnoEnergy conference.
As someone who revels in the magic of conferences, I couldn’t resist the allure. These events create a unique space where you can connect with like-minded individuals in a dynamic, open atmosphere, a place to build relationships that might just shape your entire career. My love affair with the world of sustainable energy began during a conference back in Nigeria, where I first glimpsed the vast potential this field holds, both for individuals and communities.
Visiting Amsterdam for the first time was nothing short of love at first sight. Stepping off the plane at Schiphol Airport, I was greeted by the gentle caress of Dutch air, a feeling that heightened my anticipation for the TBB event. The kickoff day of the conference was an auspicious one for me. I was tasked with assisting a company that focused on a subject I held dear – green hydrogen. My role involved speaking about the company, taking note of every individual and potential investor who visited the booth while noting the next action points for the company, and sharing my knowledge about green hydrogen.
For me, this wasn’t a daunting task, thanks to the confidence instilled in me during my first-year coursework. I was well-prepared to discuss the production process of green hydrogen and the company’s projects with potential investors. Although I faced some tough questions that only some of the company’s staff could answer, I relied on a skill I had honed over the years in Nigeria. It involved taking ownership of the conversation while kindly addressing their questions to the best of my knowledge and then channeling them to someone who could provide more detailed answers.
This experience filled me with a profound sense of pride, and the positive feedback I received from investors and potential partners left me beaming. One even said, “I am still amazed by how you stood in and pitched for the boss while he was busy! I never figured out you weren’t a staff member.” As the conference unfolded, designed to span two days, I found myself not only excelling as a student assistant but also revelling in other sessions, plenary discussions, pitching events, and networking opportunities. Some of these sessions left me pondering the professional path I was on, while others reaffirmed that I was indeed headed in the right direction.
As my time in Amsterdam drew to a close, I couldn’t wrap up this post without sharing a memorable highlight – our organised dinner night. It was a unique experience spent cruising the canals in a houseboat while marvelling at the iconic Dutch architecture that adorned the waterways as night descended.
by Eziagbor Osele, InnoEnergy master’s student