Name: Cecilia Haak
Designation: Electrical Engineer
Company: Aurecon South Africa
What do you do every day? Energy stuff!! The energy sector in South Africa is full of exciting opportunities for people like me and there is so much going on at the moment that you are really spoilt for choice! A typical day can range from drawing a single-line diagram showing the overview of an electrical transmission or distribution network all the way to advising stakeholders in the energy industry (both locally and internationally) on how best to solve their energy problems.
How did you get into the tech space? As a kid I really wanted to be an astronaut, and this dream resulted in me studying mechanical engineering. My career path did eventually lead me to NASA in the USA, but getting there was a bit of an anti-climax. So instead I came back home to South Africa and now I’m doing energy stuff!
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? You can be anything you want to be. You must just be willing to work for/at it. (My mom gave me that advice!)
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? You can do anything you want to as long as you are prepared to work hard! Also, never let anyone’s negative comments get you down or stand in your way of achieving what you want to achieve. Never doubt yourself.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My hatred of traffic and being late into the office! Actually, I love my job, so I want to get up and go into the office to see what is lined up for me for the day.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? Superwoman! I’m actually very happy to just be me when I grow up, though I do wish to lead a more balanced life. At the moment I am focussing too much on my career, so I’m neglecting other aspects of my life.