After a full 12-month sponsorship, Alba Sánchez, a former student on the Master in Journalism and Digital Communication, has been contracted by ecovatios, a sustainable energy supplier operating in Spain. A journalist by qualification, she currently manages the company’s Communication and Marketing Department, duties that she combines with providing support to other departments, such as Business Development. Looking back at her time at EAE, she highlights the entrepreneurial spirit that emanates throughout the School, as well as the opportunity to redirect her career from conventional journalism to corporate communication.
After your internship at ecovatios, you will join the company’s workforce fully in January. How long did the internship last?
A year exactly. I started on 11th January and finished on the 31st December. For 10 months, I was working a half day and, in the last two months, I started working full time, seven hours a day.
How did you feel when they offered you a permanent contract?
The fact is that, when the renewed by sponsorship after six months, they already told me that, if the business forecasts were accurate and my work was satisfactory, they would give me an employment contract at the start of the year. However, obviously, when they told me in December, I felt extremely happy, fulfilled and proud of the year’s work.
Why did you decide to accept the contract? What does working for ecovatios offer you?
Primarily because finding an employment opportunity was one of my objectives when I started the Master at EAE Business School. In addition, I was really happy for the 12 months of the internship and the evolution in terms of my career, it seemed like the right option. At ecovatios, I have learned far more than I ever imagined and it has paved the way for me to expand my work beyond the field of communication to also encompass business.
Tell us about your position and your day-to-day tasks in the company.
The fact is that the duties that I perform at ecovatios are extremely varied. I work in the Business Development Department doing everything from power optimization studies to self-consumption project proposals for companies. At the same time, I am in charge of the company’s communication and marketing, overseeing its social media, blog and commercial communications.
ecovatios is an electricity supplier whose energy comes 100% from renewable resources. Is your target market solely comprised of companies?
We do focus on companies as they enable us to offer a more significant saving. In fact, most companies are oversupplied in terms of energy and an adjustment in this respect can bring them great savings. However, we also provide our services to residential and individual customers, also offering competitive rates.
What is the objective of ecovatios?
To become the leading source of electricity consumption for companies and encourage them to contract renewable energy, so that environmental awareness and concern grow in our country. In fact, looking at the near future, the services with the greatest possibilities are those that not only help to reduce consumption but also the environmental impact.
Moreover, ecovatios promotes self-consumption, which currently enables customers to recoup their investment within between 6 and 9 years, generating savings of between 15% and 40% on their electricity bills. For this reason and because we believe in what we do, at the end of summer 2016, we launched a new online service based on geolocation technologies that lets you make self-consumption project proposals accompanied by profitability studies free of charge.
From the Communication Department, what strategies are you using to raise awareness of ecovatios?
Social media and the corporate blog are the communication tools that we use most. For the time being, we are not implementing aggressive strategies as far as advertising and marketing are concerned, as the company is young and they have opted to be more restrained in that respect. Last year, we started to issue press releases and, this year, we plan to make them more regularly. We are also weighing up the option of online advertising and our presence in the media grew significantly over the course of 2016.
Is it hard to convince the director of company that, with ecovatios, as well as having a positive impact on the environment, they will also reduce their bills?
We work with real proposals. In other words, we make a comparative study of what they are paying now and what they would pay if they were one of our customers. This saving, which is considerable in most cases, is the pitch we make to convince a company to use green energy – not only is it good for your corporate image and the environment, but also for your energy bills. There are times that they are more resistant to change or they worry that it will be a long, complex process, but that is not the case. The electricity supply is not cut at any time and it takes 3 minutes to fill in the online registration with ecovatios.
In fact, communication with the electricity sector has been the source of complaints from customers. How does ecovatios work to change this point of view? What channels do you have in place?
In terms of social media, we are active on Facebook and Twitter primarily, although we also have activity on LinkedIn. With respect to the blog, we cover environmental issues, important customer communications and news articles that may affect our sector. We prefer not to get involved in controversial matters or try to hide information that may be of used to customers. Among other features, our company is characterized by transparency, which is precisely what users increasingly demand.
What are your plans for 2017?
Obviously, to keep growing as we have been doing up to now. We finished off our first year with a turnover of €300,000 and expect to exceed €2,000,000 in 2017. It is ambitious but this year has got some big projects planned, starting with our participation at 2017 in January.
Focusing on your professional profile, could you give us a brief overview of your professional career?
My first employment experience was in the second year of my Bachelor Degree, when I did a two month internship in the Editing Department of the Diario de Avisos in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Since then, I have worked with Detele.es, an online magazine about fashion, television and society, which gave me the chance to move further into the world of pure journalism. I went on to work in London at El Ibérico, an English-owned Spanish publication, doing an internship over the summer of 2015. Meanwhile, since starting my university studies, I been teaching English in schools in the Community of Madrid.
Since then, and having finished my Master in Digital Communication at EAE, ecovatios has been my most recent experience.
What impact has doing the Master in Journalism and Digital Communication at EAE had on your career?
Primarily, beyond the knowledge acquired at the School, it has given the opportunity to discover and work for ecovatios, where I learn something new practically every week.
My studies since I was 16 were always in the field of arts and humanities, so when I had to start working with savings calculations and energy optimizations, it required a radical change, but I have discovered an exciting world that I never imagined I would be working in.
Are you putting concepts learned in the Master into practice?
Most of them, particularly the digital tools that they taught us over the course of the Master, which are very useful when it comes to monitoring network tasks doing studies of online and offline impact.
Why did you decide to take this Master at EAE?
Because I wanted to redirect my career and focus it towards corporate communication, but without losing the essence of journalism. I like the digital world and the immediacy and spontaneity that characterize it. That is why I thought that digitizing my passion for the arts and writing would help me to discover the latest communication and marketing strategies.
Apart from the purely academic side, what other experiences did you have at EAE?
I have made some good friendships, with people with whom I not only share the profession of journalism but also the motivation and entrepreneurial spirit that the School fostered in us. Moreover, over the course of the hours of tuition, we had the chance to meet some great professionals working in communication who, by sharing their experience, gave me a closer insight into the world of digital communication.
What aspects of the Master and the School would you highlight?
The way in which they pave the way for your future. Since I finished my Journalism studies, on several occasions I have heard people say that it is a career that now has no professional prospects. However, at EAE, they helped me to redirect my career and discover a world of communication that is really enjoyable and, nowadays, indispensable for all companies.
Last but not least, would you recommend EAE? Why?
I would encourage everybody to fight for whatever really moves them inside, whether or not it leads to employment opportunities, because at EAE Business School they have taught me that there are lots of ways in which they can help you to achieve a goal and lots of opportunities to work in a profession that you like. Of course, I would advise people to come and find out about the School, and embrace the guidance and motivation given by the professional that you will find there.