Emily is the Sustainability Lead Advisor to bp’s Gas & Low Carbon Energy business. She began her career in management consulting and private equity, later moving to solar developer Lightsource in 2017. After helping to secure a $200 million investment from bp into Lightsource that year, Emily supported Lightsource bp’s international expansion into Egypt (through a JV) and India (through the creation of a green PE fund, EverSource Capital). Emily joined bp in 2020 and supported their investment into the up to 26-gigawatt Australian Renewable Energy Hub.
Emily was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Europe in 2019.
1 – IF YOU COULD TWEET ONE PIECE OF ADVICE ON CAREERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
If it could be just one tweet it would probably be “Start exploring career options as early as possible during high school and college. There is a strange paradox that to get work experience you need to have work experience. It’s easier to check that box when you’re 16 or 17 than to wait until you are 21.” Although I’d like to cheat a little and also share one of my favorite quotes by Ray Dalio, who says “you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want”.
2 – WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH DRS SCHUSTER & OXLEY ON A CAREER CAROL?
I enjoyed it.
There was some trepidation in being interviewed for a book. It’s not something that happens every day. However, I had worked with Helmut and knew David. I was confident that they knew what they were doing and were clearly experts in careers, coaching, and all things to do with people in business.
My favorite moment was getting an inside peak at the book writing process. I didn’t know how it worked and it was fascinating to see a small piece of it.
3 – DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BOOK WHICH HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER OR PERSONAL FULFILLMENT?
My favorite non-fiction books tend to touch on wellbeing and sustainability. Somewhat strangely, I also enjoy reading a lot of stories about “failure” (the Great Recession, the collapse of Enron, the 1996 Everest disaster etc.) because I think it’s so important to understand the factors behind these events.
I enjoyed reading Principles by Ray Dalio. Some of my key takeaways were the importance of i) discovering our own nature and matching our life to it – and that is different for everyone, and ii) learning how to “struggle well”. Headspace (not many people realize it’s a book too) is a great introduction to mindfulness. And finally, Happy City by Charles Montgomery is a fascinating read on the impact that urban design has on our wellbeing.
4 – WHO DO YOU FIND THE MOST INSPIRING PUBLIC FIGURE?
Having spent time in South Africa, I am a great admirer of and still very moved by Nelson Mandela’s legacy. As I am half German, Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor also comes to mind. I was surprised to learn that after becoming Chancellor, she continued to live in the same apartment and supposedly often did her on grocery shopping – a level of modesty I admire.
5 – HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND RELAX?
This is a great question because it does emphasize the importance of balance and the taking the time to re-energize and re-focus.
I meditate every day and, after experiencing quite an unhealthy, sedentary pandemic, I now try to exercise as much as I can – yoga, the gym and training for my first triathlon next month. I find swimming and running quite meditative in themselves– less so cycling, particularly in London.
BONUS QUESTION 6 – IF YOU WERE GRANTED ONE PROFESSIONAL WISH…HOW WOULD YOU USE IT?
I hope I’ll be able to look back at my career and feel that my work has had a positive impact on both people and the environment. That’s my number one priority, and I feel very fortunate to be working in sustainability, which has a strong purpose attached to it.