East meets West Network member interviews-Oana Barabula

For the previous edition of the magazine, Windpowernl spoke to several young professionals who are part of the East Meets West network to hear their experience in playing a role in the Dutch energy transition and the importance of knowledge sharing between different nationalities. While we introduced the network in an earlier article, we are also presenting interviews that were recorded with individual members. In this article we introduce Oana Barabula from Romania.

Oana is originally from Romania. Inspired by travelling and meeting new people, she left her home country to move to Germany where she completed a bachelor degree in Business Administration Finance and Management. Working part time for a pharmaceutical company on non-financial sustainability reporting got her interested to gain more knowledge on sustainability and that what is related to this, such as system thinking and life cycle. She found a well rated one-year master of Global Business and Sustainability at Rotterdam School of Management and decided to move to the Netherlands. While initially intending to move back to Germany, she felt in love with the Netherlands and stayed here. She found the country to be quite sustainability oriented and pro-active in matters concerning climate change and the energy transition. Or in her own words: she learned more in the Netherlands on these topics than anywhere else she had been before.

Part of the Dutch energy transition

Oana currently works for an energy company. Here she gets the chance to be part of the energy transition. She is trying to understand the complexity of all the supply chains in this field and the interconnection between all environmental, social, political and economical factors. There are so many energy transitions and opinions, she learned. In her role she is trying to look at all of this with a critical eye, to see what is viable or not, what is a good idea, what is a short term, transitional solution, and what is here to stay. When looking at the key elements of sustainability, affordability and security, there is hardly a single, all-encompassing solution for the energy transition, she realises. In the meantime Oana is figuring out how she can use her leadership skills to lead this change towards a better energy portfolio for the world.

Is she planning to go back to her home country and play a role in the energy transition there? As she accidently entered this area, Oana has not actively thought about that. However, she thinks she is also contributing to her country by working in the energy transition here, in the Netherlands.

Being a young professional working in the energy transition, she often gets asked the question what she thinks young professionals could do to have a more active voice. She would like people to be acceptant of the complexity of the energy transition and embrace it. It is not a matter of choosing in which energy source to invest. It is also about the many industries and countries that need to work together. All countries are connected and have to deal with the same topics as supply chain, energy security, and financial matters. People all over the world should be more open minded and critical to ideas and look at feasibility.

Sometimes young professionals in the energy business are so passionate and blinded, she thinks. While it is good to have the drive to change the energy sector, we need to also ask the question whether we are devising something for ourselves or for the whole world, since not all countries are transforming at the same rate. The energy transition is hard. We need to be patient but at the same time hard working and ambitious to make the energy transition happen, she believes.

The East Meets West network is an initiative by  Energy Investment Management. Watch the interview with Oana below. The interview was done by iMarketingBiz by order of Windpowernl. Read/watch also the interview with East Meets West member Mónica Yus Santana and Dawid Gidaszewski.

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