Spotlight on... Aaliyah, Operations Manager

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Octopus Energy is made up of 1000+ fantastic people working on stuff you'd never expect, all pushing hard towards a shared goal: driving the global green energy revolution. In our Spotlight series, we'll introduce you to some of the brilliant people behind the scenes.

Aaliyah joined Octopus in 2019, and quickly became an expert in finding solutions for customers as part of our operations team. Since then she’s shot up through the business, becoming a team leader, and then an Operations Manager, and has been doing some amazing work with the Octopus’ Black Lives Matter fund. I (Aliya Khan) caught up with Aaliyah to find out more about her, and her Octopus journey.

AK: So how did you come to join Octopus?

Aaliyah: I was moving from Stoke on Trent to Brighton a couple of years ago, and was looking for a customer service role that would encompass what I did at university (which was Business Management and HR). I was looking for a job that I felt I could add something to, feel included and that would bring the best out in me. Although the energy industry isn’t something I’d considered before, I just got a feeling that Octopus had a culture that was open and inclusive and that anyone could flourish if your passion for customer service was there - that's why I chose Octopus.

AK: Has Octopus lived up to your expectations?

An image of Aaliyah

Aaliyah: More than I thought it would! I came into the company as an Energy Specialist a couple of years ago, within 6 months I was a Team Leader, and now I’m an Operations Manager. I’m really enjoying what I'm doing - I’ve also been able to do different things such as working on Trustpilot and the Black Lives Matter Fund. It's also definitely allowed me to bring my personality to the workplace. Previously I worked with a supermarket where lots of convoluted procedures had to be followed. And it's definitely not like that here. At all.

AK: What do you do at Octopus?

Aaliyah: Lots! I look after customers, I look after our Brighton operations team and work closely with 3 lovely teams , I work alongside 9 amazing team leaders, I am working on the Octopus equality foundation, and I have a passion for customer happiness. I love my job, and I adore the people that I work with. I also am proud to say that I really enjoy putting my all in to my job, for our customers, for our performance and as a business and also on a fun level.. We have so much fun!

AK: How would you describe life in Operations?

Image of aaliyah and her team in the office

Aaliyah: Working in operations is really fun, rewarding and no two days are the same. I spend each and everyday working with my team but also meeting new people from across the business, sharing ideas and growing together. Working in operations has given me the opportunity to learn, develop and grow with so many others, whether they work in the same office as me in Brighton or are located at the opposite side of the world, and for that I feel really lucky!

Working in operations has given me the opportunity to learn, develop and grow with so many others.

AK: Has working at Octopus changed the way you think about things?

An Image of a Mural Octopus put up at COP26

Aaliyah: I was always conscious about sustainability but never educated myself to understand on a serious level, the scale in which our world is changing via global warming and how the energy industry really affects our climate and global warming itself. Since being here it's really opened my eyes to what we are doing at Octopus on an innovation level. I’m proud to say I work for an organisation that truly cares about the health of our planet and the people and animals in it.

I’m making decisions that are different to those I would have made previously surrounding my loves in the world such as fashion and food, and taking waste way more into account, which is something that Octopus has given me perspective on.

AK: Do you have a memorable day at work?

an image of a fist against a black background that says: we stand against systemic racism.

Aaliyah: The first thing that comes to mind is the work that I've done with Black Lives Matter Fund and the day that George Floyd was murdered. The way everyone at work came together, to unite and start a movement and have conversations. Since that day, I really feel like I found a place and know who I am and what I stand for at Octopus.

On that day I was talking to Rebecca (our Marketing Director) on what we’re going to do, and I just realised that my opinion was really valued and the company I work for does really care. Since then, so much has changed and so many conversations have been had. I've heard and I realised that the place that I work for really is a special company.

The way everyone at work came together, to unite and start a movement and have conversations. Since that day, I really feel like I found a place and know who I am and what I stand for at Octopus.

AK: What has been happening within the BLM Fund Group?

Aaliyah: Everyone that was interested in working with the BLM fund has had a say in the allocation of the fund granted by the company. We’ve been split into teams and had workshops where we came up with proposals for our ideas. We’ve had really good feedback! We’ll see which proposals get chosen - so exciting to see what happens next.

AK: What’s your Octopus hold music?

Aaliyah: Aaliyah - Are you that somebody (the singer I was named after - an icon!)

AK: Do you have a work ritual you follow every time you're in the office?

Aaliyah: I try to get into work as early as possible to have at least 10 mins to be on my own to plan my day. I do this after work to think about what I’ve done all day. It’s nice to wind up or down before and after the day is done. As well as this, my days are busy, but I really like to find time to dedicate myself to the teams and the individuals in them to catch up and support.

AK: Favourite place to be?

Aaliyah: My favourite place would be by the sea. Any sea. I love being by the water. Might be because I’m an Aquarius with a rising sign in pisces (yes i love astrology!)

AK: Anything you want to do before the year is over?

Aaliyah: It was to learn how to swim - in October I DID THAT!

AK: What are the must do's in Brighton?

Aaliyah: The Music Hall on the seafront. It’s an outdoor bar with live music. It’s nice to go there and watch the sunset and have a few drinks with friends. Also go bike riding on the marina! It’s really pretty.

Published on 15th November 2021 by:

image of Aliya Khan

Aliya Khan

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