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Graduate Energy Modelling Analyst

Meet Florence Miller

Read on below to hear about Florence’s experience at Aurora on
the
Oxford Graduate Modelling Programme!

What led you to Aurora? What did you do before?

I joined Aurora after finishing university, where I was studying Computer Science. I knew that I liked problem-solving, but I didn’t want to go into software engineering, so I was applying for a wide variety of jobs. I think I realised Aurora would be a great choice for me when I attended the interview and really enjoyed the interview questions; they seemed to suit my skillset well. The idea of working in energy also appealed to me, since the industry is changing so much and the role of companies like Aurora is becoming increasingly important.

What are your favourite parts of your job?

I love how varied work is for a modeller. Sometimes we’re writing code to add new features to the model, sometimes we’re analysing results to try to explain the changes we see, and sometimes we’re supporting market forecasts and a wide range of advisory projects. I also really enjoy getting to work with the analysts who have a very different perspective on the model based on their more in-depth understanding of the markets, and the modellers who focus on other regions. For example, recently our Nordic modelling team has been talking more to the Brazilian modelling team since our regions both depend a lot on hydropower, and it’s so interesting to hear about their plans and ideas for improving the model!

What is your proudest accomplishment in your role to date?

One of my first projects after finishing training was supporting a project looking into reconfiguring the borders between Swedish energy price zones to reduce congestion. I provided modelling support for the project over a long period, helping with identifying and solving the different issues which came up, and I was recently able to go to Stockholm to see the team present their research and discuss it with clients. It felt so rewarding to have been able to contribute to the project when I saw the final presentation!

What skills have you developed since joining?

I started at Aurora with some knowledge of programming thanks to my degree, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot about working collaboratively on code with a large team, which is a useful skill I wasn’t taught before. It really feels like I have learned to apply the contents of my degree, which was mostly very theoretical, to real-world projects—something that felt like a big and intimidating step before I started here.

What’s one thing you wish you’d known when you started working at Aurora and what advice would you give a newbie?

I think everybody joining Aurora as a modeller has different skills and backgrounds, and I certainly felt a bit intimidated by, for example, my lack of knowledge of power markets. The training is thorough, and everyone I’ve worked with has been really friendly, so I filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge quickly (although I continue to learn more every day). I would tell new joiners not to worry if they don’t come from as much of a programming background or don’t know so much context surrounding what we’re modelling; there will be plenty of opportunities to learn once you’re here, and having modellers from different backgrounds provides a useful variety of areas of experience.