This is part 2 of our blog series covering the Go Green in the City Winner’s trip. To read part 1, click here.
About Go Green in the City
Go Green in the City is the ultimate global student competition for sustainable energy solutions. Students solve real-world business challenges within energy management or submit their original idea for energy management in an urban environment for a chance to win.
Twelve teams of finalists from around the world are sponsored on a trip to the grand finale in Paris where they connect with employees and learn more about what it’s like to work at Schneider Electric. The winning team receives a job offer from Schneider Electric and an opportunity to visit Schneider Electric offices around the world.
Meet Rini & Vivian
Rini Bharadwaj and Vivian Silas Jeyachander Manohar from Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany were the winners of Go Green in the City 2016. They proposed an off-grid irrigation system that reduced both financial and environmental costs by utilizing tree-mounted wind turbines.
“Go Green in the City gave us an opportunity to look at energy innovation in a whole new light. It has motivated us to apply our theoretical acumen on global problems and made us think as an entrepreneur. The mentorship we received from Schneider Electric has helped us to define our ambitions for the future more clearly. We are all winners, having gained huge knowledge both technically and professionally.”
– Rini Bharadwaj and Vivian Silas Jeyachander Manohar
Part 2: Australia
Day 10: July 31, 2017
The day missing from our now-history. It’s crazy how we started on 30th and will reach Sydney on the 1st August.
Day 11: August 1, 2017
We arrived at the airport early morning and had a Taxi waiting for us. We hopped in right away to check into our close to the heart of Sydney hotel. Getting used to the right-hand driving needs some time to get used to even though you are not the one driving. After hours of resting, we had our lunch at the hotel and started our journey right away starting with Madame Tussauds where we met the scientists, actors, etc. After meeting with the famous people, we went for a stroll in Sydney and called it a day. Jet lag hits sometimes, you know.
Day 12: August 2, 2017
After rejuvenating for a day, we started our Sydney journey with a visit to the Schneider Electric office in Macquarie Park, New South Wales (NSW). We finally met Sunita, the HR Business Partner in NSW, who with the help of Rachel, an HR Graduate, took care of everything while we were there. We kicked our day off by meeting with Andy Walsh, the Director Sales Excellence, about why it is important to invest in the ideas of the young minds and the risks behind it.
After having a constructive conversation with Andy, we spoke to Rachel about the Bright Sparks Graduate trainee program Schneider Electric offers.
It was time to meet Kirrilly Pavett, Simplify Leader at SE, where we got insight on how a project is defined and how external and internal communities work together on a project etc. Finally, it was time for us to meet one of the technical personnel, Brad Yager, Director Process Automation offer & BD Pacific at SE, where we spoke about IoT, ecostruxure and cybersecurity. We could have literally spoken to him for the rest of the day. But it was time for us to feed ourselves, so we went to Hattrick, a restaurant near SE with Sunita and Rachel.
After we came back, we had presentations from the Ignite program, one of Schneider Electric’s flagship leadership and talent acceleration programs, where they talked about solutions to things that matter, but few actually talk about, like Gender equality.
With this, it was time to go out and explore Sydney. A Taxi picked us up from SE to take us to the hotel. With the time in our hands we roamed around the city, including the shopping mall to the Chinatown. We had never ending walks and finally came back to the hotel and called it a day.
Day 13: August 3, 2017
We started out the day with delicious breakfast at the hotel and then hopped into a taxi going to Schneider Electric. Today on the schedule was the National Distribution Center (DC) of SE in Ingleburn, New South Wales. We received a great tour from Craig, a project manager and Helene, a supply chain Intern. This DC was no ordinary one. It was better than any DCs we’ve ever been to. After the DC tour, we headed back for lunch in the Macquarie Park mall.
A taxi picked us up to see the “8th wonder of the world”, the Sydney Opera House, where we took a tour. It felt like it was all a movie and we hoped they would have a concert for us but unfortunately not. Not that it was supposed to happen anyway. One thing you must do when you are at the opera house is take as many photos as you can. But if you don’t, you can still get some from the internet. Seriously, if you go to the opera house, just sit there because that’s what you can’t get on the internet. As said we just sat near the water, staring at the waves and the mountains of water they make, looking at the Sydney Opera House and of course the Sydney Harbour bridge.
It was time for Badu Gill- “water light” in the language of the traditional residents of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal people. It is a new daily experience that explores ancient First Nations stories in a spectacular seven-minute projection, illuminating the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sail year-round at sunset and 7pm.
After the show, we slowly headed back to the hotel, mesmerized by the beauty around us.
Day 14: August 4, 2017
Getting ready for the office and the thought of the day being “nothing Lasts forever”.
The day started with meeting Daniel Hancock, a Vertical Solutions Engineer, where we spoke about the solutions SE provides for food and beverage industries, coal industries and more.
Next in line was the Clipsal Power House tour by Brendan Pigram, a Customer Experience Manager, where we saw the automation solutions Clipsal offers the household industry.
Also a big happy birthday to Vivian! Not today but that’s what we did next. We had a discussion with the the graduate students, both from engineering and commerce backgrounds about their experience during the traineeship and our Go Green in the City idea. After a good discussion, we had cake ready for Vivian whose birthday would be tomorrow but, thanks to Sunita, we were able to celebrate it with the SE family.
With the cake and the lunch, it was time to meet the automation engineers. We discussed everything from renewable scenarios in Australia to programming to customer service.
After the healthy discussion with the engineers, it was the time to meet the VPs and present them with our idea. We want to give a big thanks to Pip Russel, the VP of HR, Chris Quinn, the VP of Marketing, Jenny Vo, acting CFO, Else guenin, the internal communications manager for taking the time to hear our presentation.
After the presentation, it was time to leave the office and explore more of Sydney before we went back to Germany.
Our time in the office has been incredible. We would like to thank everybody for sharing their time with us. A special thanks to Chui and Rachel for organizing everything and taking amazing professional photos!
Last but by no means the least, we would like to thank Sunita for a warm welcome to Sydney and Schneider Electric.
And so, with this, we left the SE office with a heavy heart.
After getting back to the hotel, we went to the 309m tall Sydney tower where we get to see panoramic view of Sydney. And there is no point of going to the Sydney tower if you are not going for the SKYWALK. We walked and jumped on the glass floor at the top of the tower. It was a great experience.
Day 15: August 5, 2017
Today was Vivian’s Birthday and we went to the Taronga Zoo!
We got up in the morning to catch the ferry and a cable car to the zoo, and spent 5 hours in the zoo without realizing the time. We got the see the seal show, bird show and we even got to see how ibis steal food. Yes! They stole Vivian’s fries!
By the time we came out of the Zoo, the cable car had stopped. We had to take the bus and catch our last booked ferry within 10 minutes. Did we make it? Of course, not. The bus came late but he allowed us in without having to pay for it and reached there just in time. So, did we take the ferry? No! it was gone! We just waited for the public transportation, told them the story and they let us in. We finally made it to the Sydney Opera House stop and just sat there and chilled.
Finally, we walked back to the hotel after realizing that it was our last night in Sydney. So, what did we do? We sat in the hotel restaurant until midnight and talked about the boat show to a new Australian friend we had just met.
Finally we snoozed out. And that’s how we spent our last night in Sydney.
Day 16: August 6, 2017
The first thing we did in the morning was to check out from the hotel and eat a long breakfast. As planned, we went to the Manly island and the weather was great. It was sunny and a little bit windy. We sat at the Manly beach for hours staring at the waves and observing crabs on the shore. We finally got up to walk from manly lagoon to North Head.
In the end, we went to the art museum on the island and then headed back to the Sydney Opera House with the ferry. We walked back from there to the hotel for the last time.
It was almost the time to go, take the long flight and end our journey here.
At this point of the trip we were just thankful to all the people without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Most importantly, we’d like to thank Ruby who was there with us from the beginning until now, it’s not quite the end yet.
Thanks to Tyrus and Sunita who made us feel comfortable in their cities and of course the SE employees who scheduled their time for us. It was the most adventurous trip we’ve ever had!
Rini and Vivian’s Final Thoughts
Learning from Go Green in the City
We have learned that the simplest of ideas can still be a winner. You don’t need to go overboard and make things unnecessarily complicated. From the beginning, we believed that our idea was simple but feasible and this confidence helped us win the competition. Besides that, we got a taste of innovation around the globe.
Go Green in the City and future endeavors
Winning such a prestigious international competition and featuring it in our professional profiles will be a huge highlight when we look for prospective opportunities in the future. Apart from that, the clarity we have gained with regard to our field of interest from working at Schneider Electric, Berlin and interacting with Schneider personal during our winner trip is something incredible.
A learning experience
It was an overwhelming feeling to win Go Green in the City, knowing that we have been given this incredible opportunity to experience innovation and culture around the globe, and that we had to make the most out of it. But that feeling was quickly replaced by curiosity and excitement. The winner’s trip did not disappoint and gave us a wonderful experience to learn about life in the two countries as well as their work culture. We met many great people and got a brief glimpse into the emerging technologies in those countries.
Traveling in style
In addition to the exciting opportunity to take a trip around the world in our 20’s, we did it extravagantly. From the point of getting picked up at the airport, a luxurious hotel stay, a perfectly planned itinerary and extremely friendly Schneider Electric colleagues who helped take care of all our needs, we had everything we could want. Such a well-planned and comfortable trip would not be possible if we had done it by ourselves.
Getting to know Schneider Electric
It is always exhilarating to meet people with the same passion for technology. Our visits to Schneider Electric in Boston and Sydney were no exception. We appreciated the number of people who took time out of their schedules to interact with us, discuss our Go Green in the City idea, talk over their field of expertise and indulge in delightful conversations about the city and company.
A trip to remember
We can’t point one specific experience that was our absolute favorite. The entire two-week period of exploring two different continents, the cultures, cuisine, people, and even the crazy jet lag and time differences were enjoyable.