A day in the life of a Transpower scholarship recipient

Louisa Howse

Auckland University Women in Engineering Scholarship Recipient - 2019

How did you learn about the Transpower scholarship?

I stumbled across it on the Auckland University website and on the Women in Engineering Facebook page. It seemed like it was a bit of a long shot as when I first saw the advertisement, I thought it only applied to electrical engineers, however, at University, we had already been doing some work in optimising prices and data in the electricity industry so because of that, I felt my degree was relevant and applied.

How has the scholarship benefited you?

The scholarship has benefited me in a variety of ways. The major benefit has been increased confidence and the fact that I was valued by a potential employee  - this has been huge! In terms of who I study with, I'd say probably 10-20 percent of engineering school students are female, which is still low, so having opportunities like this definitely gives you a lot of confidence

The scholarship has also helped with work-life balance, allowing me to cut my hours of work while studying. Another benefit has been the expansion of my network and the opportunity to learn more about the electricity industry. This led to applying for the internship programme, which I was not aware of before receiving the scholarship.

What did you know about Transpower before applying for the scholarship?

I knew what Transpower did but there were lots of things I didn’t know.  I knew there was scope for my skillset but I didn’t realise how much! The scholarship enabled me to learn about the Transpower internship progamme that caters to your skillset. Through my internship experience, I was included in weekly meetings and had opportunities to connect with other Transpower offices around New Zealand This then led me to apply for the graduate role.

What made you choose Transpower

Before the scholarship and then internship, I hadn’t actually heard about the careers opportunities relevant to my degree at Transpower, however I had always hoped to work in the energy industry. The fact that Transpower is a New Zealand company, is also definitely important to me.

What would you say to people looking to apply for a scholarship at Transpower?

It is an incredible opportunity and they should definitely apply if they are passionate about working in the electricity industry, Even after reading the description of the scholarship, you don’t realise the opportunities it will give you until you start your journey. As well as being exposed to the many opportunities, you will be valued at Transpower. It's a good achievement to include on your CV to show you can gain an award such as this.

Where do you think your career might take you?

I love my programming and data analytical skills but what's most important, is finding a job where I can utilise both. I thought that balance might be impossible to find, however, the balance that the Transpower programme provides enables me to combine my engineering and corporate skills.


DJ Mahara,  Maori Scholarship and Graduate Engineer at Transpower 2019

How did you learn about the scholarship? 

I had taken up a summer internship at Transpower and I applied for the scholarship during this time.

How did receiving the scholarship help you?

It was a massive help as it allowed me to reduce my number of hours of paid work and commit more time to my final year projects.

What made you choose Transpower

Before I started my internship, I wasn't aware of the career opportunities at Transpower, however I had always hoped to be an engineer in the energy sector At Transpower, you are immersed in the industry, from generation to distribution, which enables you to gain some of the best experience in the business. 

What would you say to people looking to apply for the scholarship and Transpower?

Applying for a scholarship is a good investment! Transpower is a great place to work and you will be fully immersed in the business and learn about the industry as an engineer!


Sophie McGill-Smith – Canterbury University Women in Engineering Scholarship Recipient - 2019  

How did you learn about the scholarship?

I was looking on the University of Canterbury website page and i saw the Transpower scholarship.  I was actively searching looking for female scholarships, so after reading the description, i started doing my research. I studied mechanical and electrical engineering and hadn't thought about power engineering before this opportunity came up. I had always struggled with the idea of working in an industry to make products so the crucial elements of working with Transpower also really appealed to me.

What happened next?

After receiving the scholarship, I landed an Internship at Transpower which made me realise  this is an  industry I am interested in. I then moved to studying power systems at university because of Transpower.  The scholarship led to the internship and this has been great in figuring out what I am actually interested in.

How have you benefited from the scholarship?

It helped a lot in terms of going forward into future study and if i decide to do a post grad, the debt does not look as bad. It was also great recognition of the work I'd completed at university and it helped me feel like I am on the right track I learned about the internship because of the scholarship. Without the scholarship I would not have thought about Transpower as a potential employer and the power industry as a sector I could work in.

What is next for you?

Having been through the scholarship and internship process, I have applied for the graduate programme at Transpower. I really didn’t have a particular drive towards a career, but this has helped me cement what I want to do.

What would you say to people looking to apply for the scholarship and Transpower?

Give it a try and don’t just look at it as a way to get money. The scholarship fulfilled its purpose and got me really interested in Transpower.

As part of your internship, how did you learn and develop in a working environment?

I learn through asking a lot of questions and paying attention to what other people do. Being an intern at Transpower enabled me to gain practical experience by, operating in an organisation and negotiating to get things done.

Where do you think your career will take You ?

In the medium term I am interested in a graduate role at Transpower. Eventually I would like to spend some-time overseas working in the energy sector.