The Next Generation | Trustpower’s Lucy Hill Moves over the Kaimais
An import from Cambridge, Lucy Hill is one of Tauranga’s younger professional recruits.
During her final year of business strategy and marketing studies at the University of Waikato, Lucy secured an internship at Trustpower’s head office in Tauranga. Once there, she was able to put her theoretical knowledge to use in the real world.
Lucy soaked up the experience like a sponge, so impressing her team that she was encouraged to apply for the company’s Apollo Programme – a two-year programme designed specifically for the next generation of employees.
The internship ended in December 2018, and by February 2019 she was back in Tauranga – this time permanently with a full-time job at Trustpower, a flat in Papamoa, and oodles of energy and optimism.
Here’s her story of moving over the hill.
Lucy, what drew you to study Business Strategy and Marketing?
In the past, career guiders had told me my personality suits leadership roles like teaching and management. I started a degree in teaching at the University of Waikato, but after two weeks I knew teaching wasn’t for me, so I swapped into a four-year management degree for the second semester. I have now almost completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies majoring in Strategic Management and Marketing.
Did you have your sights on any particular place to live upon graduation?
All I knew was that I didn’t want to live in Auckland and preferred not to stay in Hamilton either. My main worry was that it would be difficult to find a job in strategy or marketing as there are few entrance-level positions. Tauranga didn’t seem like an option; until I landed an internship at Trustpower, I hadn’t realized the city was large enough to offer such opportunities.
How did the internship with Trustpower come about?
My degree required me to complete 200 hours of work experience in a relevant company. My aunty, Annie Hill from Priority One, helped me connect with local businesses keen to take me under their wing, one of whom was Trustpower.
I had a few meetings with people in the strategy and growth department and they made my internship very interesting, offering a really good insight into how a larger company operates and what I wanted to do after graduating.
Tell us a little bit more about this experience.
Working in the Trustpower office one or two days a week, I worked alongside my manager who helped execute customer-focused services. I learned how companies carry out small-scale strategies, which is very different from the hypothetical large-scale assignments we have in our papers. When comparing notes with my university friends, I felt very lucky as my role was one of the most interesting ones.
When I came to the end of my internship, my manager sent me a link to Trustpower’s two-year rotation programme called the Apollo Programme. I applied for the programme, and went through the interviewing and testing process in November to find out in early December that I have a permanent full-time position at Trustpower.
Could you describe your new role?
The Apollo Programme’s purpose is to educate employees on how Trustpower and the electricity generating and retailing industry operate, giving employees the chance to suggest ways to improve our current operations. The programme has two streams, one technical (analysts, developers) and one generalist, which rotates through a range of teams across the business.
My role as a generalist isn’t a business-as-usual role: over the next two years, I will be rotating between the strategy and growth, community and communications, campaign program management, and generation support departments.
What do you enjoy most about this role?
I love that I have a large support network. The company has already ensured that I have met my manager for each rotation and has assigned me a buddy who can help me if I’m finding work difficult or need someone to talk to. I have also been paired up with a mentor who is great at providing different perspectives, support, and guidance.
The rotations that I am going through are another highlight. The variety will provide a wide understanding of the business and industry, and teach me many different skills.
What was it like growing up in Cambridge?
Cambridge is a really friendly, slow-moving town. It has grown over the years, particularly with young families and older people moving in. I think this was a good environment for my young self, but it was a bit slow as I got older and as my generation has begun moving away.
Growing up with Tauranga just over the Kaimais, the Mount was definitely my favourite place to go for a day trip – as soon as my friends and I got our licenses we began driving over the hill.
What has it been like moving to Tauranga?
Tauranga is even more beautiful than I had initially thought – it’s somewhere I want to live for quite a while. People are very active and healthy, everyone is out and about in the evenings and there are food events twice a week in the evenings. I feel very lucky to live here and felt at home straight away.
I live in Papamoa, which is very relaxed but also lively. I am close to the beach and often walk down after work to swim and surf. I start and finish work early, which means it only takes 15 minutes to drive there – and I can get there when free parking spots are still available – and I get to relax at the beach afterward.
How have you found making friends and settling in?
The Apollo Programme offered by Trustpower has definitely helped me with meeting new people. Moving in with strangers has also meant I made friends relatively quickly.
What has moving to Tauranga meant…
For your career?
It has ensured I can work in a corporate position that has pathways that will allow for personal growth. The future looks bright in Tauranga, particularly as there seems to be greater networking and social events here than in Waikato. Tauranga is definitely a place I want to stay and work long-term.
For your wellbeing?
Tauranga is a very active and outdoorsy place and I’m out of the house every evening after work either running, swimming or surfing. The community is friendly and chill so I feel very comfortable being outside during the evenings.
For your relationships?
Moving to Tauranga has increased my friend circle and has created a good excuse to invite friends from Cambridge or Hamilton over to my place for the weekend. The active lifestyle makes it easy to meet new people, as do the many social networking events held in Tauranga. I travel home every other weekend to see friends and family and it only takes an hour and a half drive.
Gets You Thinking Doesn’t It?
No one can tell you when you’re ready for a change of lifestyle…but when you are, we’d love to have you in Tauranga!
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