Student learns leadership skills from one of the top CEOs in the energy business

University of Alberta interviews engineering student Kabir Nadkarni about his CEOx1Day at ENMAX

Kabir and Gianna

(Edmonton) From visiting Alberta’s energy power house to learning how to store solar energy, to picking up leadership skills from one of the top CEOs in the energy business—Kabir Nadkarni’s day at the helm of ENMAX Corporation was jam-packed with unique experiences.

“This was a really neat opportunity to not only master soft skills, but also appreciate the things that I’m learning in class,” said Nadkarni, a third-year engineering physics students, and a finalist in the CEOx1 Day program by Odgers Berndtson.

Along with 21 student finalists demonstrating strong leadership potential, Nadkarni was paired up with Canada’s leading CEO, Gianna Manes from ENMAX Corporation, to gain insight into what it takes to run a company. Besides getting a taste of the life at the top of Alberta’s largest energy supplier, Nadkarni amped up his grasp of power and renewable energy engineering.

“One of the coolest things I did that day was visit a control center in Calgary that distributes electricity to all of Calgary,” Nadkarni said. “Just being able to see the various things that an electrical operator does was great.”

The control center served as a monitoring station and damage-response base during the Calgary floods in the summer of 2013.

After learning ENMAX’s main business, powering up the province, Nadkarni explored the company’s initiative to install solar panels across sunny Alberta.

“We went to the solar installation site, one of the largest in the country,” said Nadkarni. There, he met the solar operations crew and discussed how solar energy can efficiently be processed and stored.

The two field trips were topped off with lunch in the company of ENMAX’s frontline team.

Of the leadership advice he received from Manes, Nadkarni said: “You have to purposefully put yourself in uncomfortable situations, this is where you can grow. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Stick yourself in difficult situations and don’t be afraid of failure.”

Not only did the day in the shoes of the ENMAX CEO shed light on the soft and technical skills leaders possess, but also showed a real-life application of an engineering degree.

“This experience motivated me to do better in classes and got me more interested in my field,” said Nadkarni.