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Meet Saedie Shin of Alcen Renewable in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Saedie Shin.

Saedie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was raised in South Korea. I got my first glimpse of how I could make a positive difference when I was in high school. My father ran a printed circuit board manufacturing plant and I got a job there. While working at the plant I noticed a way they could improve the production and quality of the final product. I offered a suggestion about the manufacturing process, the plant implemented my ideas, resulting in a big improvement in efficiency and in the quality of the circuit boards produced. For this discovery and suggestion, I was recognized and rewarded–I carry this sense of fulfillment with me to this day. What I learned from the experience is that I have the power to make a difference.

My early positive experience in manufacturing led me to pursue the field of Operations Management at college in the States. This was a good fit–I graduated Magna Cum Laude and landed a job as an Analyst in Operations at Goldman Sachs. Here I gained hands-on experience in global financial operations with an extensive geographic reach of the U.S, Korea, and Japan. I leveraged my passion for continuous improvement by proactively identifying bottlenecks and implementing multiple initiatives for process optimization. I was up for a new challenge, so I returned to the States looking for opportunities to switch into a different industry–one that was new to me, that held my interest, where I felt excited about the mission and where I felt I could make a difference.

I found Alcen Renewable; it was a perfect fit. After I participated in a survey group that was re-evaluating Alcen’s marketing campaigns, they offered me a full-time position. I learned about what’s happening on the cutting edge in renewable energy technology, how this technology can mitigate the course of climate change and how renewable energy can yield energy independence. At Alcen Renewable we take pride in delivering on our promise to develop renewable energy projects that minimize environmental impact and that secure a brighter future for generations to come.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been challenges along the way, of course. New challenges often bring new struggles. I have struggled with the constant change of environment, discrimination, living far away from family and friends and finding my identity–where do I belong?

What I have discovered along the way is that by maintaining a positive mindset, focusing on what needs to be done, and giving it my best effort will yield good results. I have learned that when I concentrate my energies and focus on the present and not dwell on events of the past or worry about what could happen in the future, it is liberating and worlds of possibility open. When I consider the struggles I have overcome I realize I am now stronger because of them; I am no longer afraid to break out of my comfort zone because I know I can handle it and will become better as a result.

As an example, when I switched my career from the financial industry to the renewable energy world, I struggled. I was acutely aware of my lack of knowledge in the industry and felt foolish talking with those who had been in the field for years. It took a while, but I discovered the power of telling others “I don’t know”. I realized that no one knows everything, I could not expect myself to know everything and that it is through experience and embracing new situations I expand my knowledge. This acceptance has been liberating–I accept that I will make mistakes and have made the commitment to learn from them and move on, better equipped to handle the challenges that come my way.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Alcen Renewable is at the forefront of the energy revolution. We are dedicated to designing and implementing utility-scale renewable energy projects that lessen the dependency on fossil fuels; we take great pride in our accomplishments. This is an exciting time: through advanced technology, the energy revolution is becoming a reality.

People want clean energy; renewable energy has proven to be both economically feasible and politically stable and is becoming the established energy standard worldwide.

Monumental efforts are underway to deliver clean energy to people; that is what we do and do well at Alcen Renewable. I’m excited to play a role in this clean renewable energy transformation.

In an industry dominated by men, I am especially proud to be a member of an all-women team making a positive difference in the renewable energy world. We are currently working on a 275-megawatt wind energy project that will create enough energy to power 275,000 houses.

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