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You can be the boss as a CPCS co-op student

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Spotlight on inspiring CPCS interns: Meet Toufic Constantin, who’s pursuing his studies in industrial engineering at the University of Toronto.

We interns often do tasks that don’t meet our expectations. It wasn’t my case at CPCS. I led my own solar infrastructure project.

Since I started studying industrial engineering at the University of Toronto, I’ve been looking to make a dent in the renewable energy and power sectors. For a long time, I couldn’t find anything interesting.

That changed in 2019 when I came across a call for interns from CPCS. Fast forward to the end of my internship, I can proudly say that I’ve managed my first solar infrastructure project from start to finish within a global management consulting company.

Yup, that’s right!

You see, I’ve always been curious about energy. At U of T, I worked on a solar car project and researched and designed an electricity submetering system.

I simply love a challenge. CPCS offered me the perfect platform for growth.

Learning how to be an infrastructure consultant

During my interview at CPCS, my hiring manager saw right away how I could contribute to their power services. He asked what I wanted to do at CPCS and promised me the resources to do it.

How nice is that?

We settled on a neat solar panel consulting project. Not as big like a blueprint to modernize the power sector in Senegal or a strategy to unbundle a public power utility in Cape Verde, but something that can impact the local community. My employer’s corporate social responsibility program lets interns run their pet project with full advisory support.

To own my file and do hands-on work was the best part. I came up with a plan to implement solar panels on the rooftop of York University’s campus buildings. I’m proud because that project will be a sustainable energy source.

However, the project didn’t turn out to be as straightforward as I had thought.

Good thing my CPCS teammates helped me at every step of the way.

For example, I didn’t know which campus buildings could support solar panels. Common sense told me to look for roofs without shading and for strong structures, but I couldn’t tell which buildings met those criteria. This is where the spatial data scientists from the analytics team came to the rescue. They prepared me a visual review of the buildings so that I could find exactly what I was looking for.

Further into the project, I got stuck figuring how much the whole thing was going to cost. I wasn’t even sure whether the university could afford those solar panels. So the economics team jumped in to validate whether my project was financially viable. Once I got the numbers matching, CPCS supported my vision to give the university a detailed implementation guide.

Why I chose CPCS 

A solar infrastructure internship at a management consulting firm was never about adding another line to my resume, although now I get to brag about it. Instead, it’s about doing something challenging and impactful and confronting my theoretical learnings. At the end of my internship, I found myself questioning everything I thought I knew about infrastructure consulting. Yet, I could not have asked for a better introduction to the field. What I learned from managing my own project is more valuable than reading any book on the subject.

I can’t wait to see my project bloom and hear how it’s helping reduce greenhouse gases.

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