05.10.2021 | Trainee at Axpo: Zach Ter

“I sought to leverage my skillset to make a positive impact”

Zachary Ter studied his master’s degree in Business and Economics at the University of Basel and joined Axpo as a trainee in finance in October 2020. Zachary’s curiosity for a traineeship at Axpo was sparked by the challenges it offered, the ability to deepen one’s know-how and expertise in the energy industry, and the opportunity to develop a far-reaching personal network.   

Zachary Ter

Function: Trainee Finance

Background: MSc in Business and Economics at University of Basel  

Assignments: Financial Projects, M&A, Strategy

Why did you start your traineeship at Axpo?

During my Master’s program I enrolled myself in energy market policy courses and found them of particular interest to me. Given that my academic background is in economics, banking and finance, I sought to leverage my skillset where I can make a positive impact for the green deal, work in international, collaborative teams and learn more about energy markets. Axpo’s rotational trainee program offered the unique opportunity I was looking for.

What are the benefits of a traineeship from your perspective?

The program’s rotational and flexible structure allows to tailor it to the candidate’s interests and tap the candidate’s full potential. With the commitment to provide sustainable energy to the world, promising opportunities and challenges emerge in the market as well as in the company. The graduate trainee program fosters a multi-perspective understanding of those upcoming events and provides the chance to build a large network with various stakeholders.

Can you tell us more about the different rotations and projects during your traineeship?

I started my graduate trainee program in the financial projects team, which is similar to an in-house consulting team. In the financial projects team I collaborated with IT specialists in the execution of a group wide data related project and conducted a pre-analysis for the optimization of a nuclear power station. After I got to know the groups’ activities a bit better from the inside, I was offered various positions for my next trainee stage. By the beginning of the year I joined the group’s M&A team for my 2nd stage, where I worked as a sell-side analyst on the successful transaction of a wind farm in France which was developed by Axpo subsidiary Volkswind. For my ongoing stage I joined the group Strategy team and continue to work with the M&A team. 

What mark did you leave behind during your traineeship? What is your “foot print”?

Among other things, I contributed to the restructuring of group governance so that the group can operate more dynamically in the future.

What is a typical day at work as a trainee at Axpo (highlights of your working day)?

Every day is different, as each transaction or project has its peculiarity. Normally, I have a couple of calls spread throughout the day with the team, internal stakeholders and potential investors. The tasks I encounter at the moment are to analyze current and future market potential, obtain specific information from past deals, review financial models, draft precise slide decks from information I obtained from multiple sources and pitch recommended actions to various stakeholders including management.

What was something you didn’t know before you started working at Axpo?

When I started to work at Axpo, I was surprised how diverse the culture is between countries and business areas within the group. I enjoyed the exposure to the various cultures a lot as it was an insightful learning experience.

What can you apply in your daily work, that you learned at university?

The most important skills I still apply on a daily basis are a structured and precise working approach and the ability to identify, memorize and process a lot of information in a short amount of time.

What do you recommend to graduates for their career start?

Ask yourself what impact you seek to have in the world and where you want to be in 5 years after graduation; network as early and as much as possible to find out what it takes to get where you might want to be.

Did Zachary’s experience with his traineeship at Axpo spark your curiosity? You can find more information about it here. We look forward to hopefully meeting you during the recruitment process!

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