Meet the Industry 2017/18 - Behind the Scenes

An in depth interview with student leader Ragna Björk Bragadóttir

24.4.2018

REYKJAVIK, April 24 - From taking Linear Dynamics class to securing consecutive internships at HS Orka, Iceland’s electricity provider, and Reykjavik Energy, Iceland’s energy and utility company, Ragna Björk Bragadóttir has done it all. Her involvement does not stop there, however. Ragna wanted to do something to enhance the student experience for her peers. She hoped to bring influential individuals and experts in the renewable energy industry to ISE so students can hear about their work. During the 2017/18 academic year, Ragna spearheaded and organised the ISE annual traditions, Meet the Industry (MTI) events. 

The MTI events are aimed to introduce students to the industry by inviting representatives from organizations in the renewable energy industry to showcase their businesses and any special projects that they are involved in. Based on students’ internships, thesis topics or general interest, student leaders reach out to respective companies or industry experts to discuss their current projects or research and this responsibility has been passed down from students leaders to their successors over the years. Ragna explained the details to securing a speaker:

Google is of course, a very important tool to search for the various companies involved in a certain type of project in Iceland. I try to have a representation of the various fields, since even though we are all in the Sustainble Energy program, we have diverse backgrounds and interests. Eventually, I gathered a list of companies and projects that would be interesting for us, and then find their respective contacts.

In our interview with Ragna, we also asked about the challenges she faced:

After various trial and error, I realized that companies generally do not respond to their main e-mail, despite what their websites indicate, so I had to be creative at finding the right people to contact. Another obstacle, something that is often overlooked, is finding a time that most students are free from their academic obligations, which also corresponds to the availability of the speaker.

In the past years, there are typically two student leaders who are chosen to lead the MTI events. This year, however, Ragna is the sole leader. Her advice for future MTI events are as follow:

My hope for future organizers is that to work in a pair, if possible with a 2nd year student. It is definitely challenging to do this by yourself, while staying on top of your studies. That being said, it is not impossible. Reykjavik University prides itself for its close connections between the university and the industry, and I have definitely learnt a lot and built a network of connections during my time thus far. However, if I were to start as an MTI organizer today, it would be easier since I have more connections now.

Finally, we asked Ragna for her opinion on the value of such event to ISE:

MTI is an important event for students, as you get to see how diverse the industry is and to have a better idea on the type of job or industry they would like to enter upon graduation. In fact, the possibilities are endless.

Kudos to Ragna for her success and we wish her the best of luck for her thesis research.


 


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