ALL ABOUT TOTAL EDUCATION IN AFRICA
Serving an incredible two million customers a day, Total is present in 44 different countries in Africa. We employ 8,500 people in our Marketing and Services branch here, and indirectly support another 70,000 jobs. Although Total is the top retailer of petroleum products and services in Africa, renewable energy is a major part of our strategy here, particularly solar energy, with some of our 4,300 stations already solar-powered.
Our future success on this continent depends on developing the next generation of energy professionals who share our commitment to better energy. We believe that as an energy major, Total has an important role to play in promoting educational opportunities and sharing our knowledge. Since 2014, Total Marketing & Services has run an exciting graduate program, which is now available in 36 African countries.
Designed to help build a long-term pipeline of qualified employees for the industry at large, selected participants get the opportunity to gain international work experience in the energy sector, taking on real responsibility in operational roles in three business lines (commercial, finance and technical). There are two different elements to the scheme: a local 6-month placement and a 12-month international placement. We are proud of the gender diversity that the program has achieved – 50% of our graduates (over 300 so far) are women.
Nina Lowéi Miessi is an alumnus of the program, and now works as a Mines, Quarries and Cement Sales representative. She’s a mining engineering graduate from INPHB in Yamoussoukro, on the Ivory Coast and joined the program via Total’s affiliate in this country: “I started my first placement as a sales representative, which involved everything from managing the stock of deposits in Total’s mines to working with our customers to manage their orders and grow our relationship. These first six months were an opportunity for me to settle in and adapt myself to the affiliate expectations.”
After this valuable experience, Nina was then assigned to the company’s Senegalese affiliate, where she worked in two different roles. “Working in Senegal gave me international experience, which broadened my horizons and helped me gain a more thorough understanding of what the mining business is all about. I adapted my way of working and learnt a lot. On a personal level, working within a different cultural environment has made me more open-minded." When describing her placement, she adds, “It has been a rewarding experience during which I learnt to overcome what seemed to be limits. It is a great chance, providing high quality training and a thorough insight into this industry.”
What advice does Nina have for other aspiring energy professionals? “Having a successful first professional experience requires a clear idea of the field in which you would like to work, based on your potential but also your passion for the work. Finally, keep your goals in mind and make sure to reach them all!”