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Bringing Communication Skills Into The Nuclear Industry

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

Mark Nelson

Managing Director

Radiant Energy Fund

Fitting of the man himself, this version of the how did you get into nuclear? is a little different. Rather than recounting a detailed career story within the article, we have referred to several podcasts that Mark has been the guest on over the last couple of years. This allows us to tell a career story via a different medium and allows us time here to consider Mark's background, skills and how he took his transferable skills with him throughout his career.


"...for those that think that nuclear is only for PhD's and people in lab coats, look again at the transferrable skills that Mark values - none of them are about his technical knowledge or qualifications."

Firstly, give the Titans of Nuclear podcast with Mark as the guest a watch, or listen. Find out about how Mark is from Oklahoma, the land of cattle and tornadoes, fracking and the aerospace industry - the land of many things, but not of nuclear. He eventually discovered nuclear and moved to the UK to study nuclear engineering at an exciting time when the UK was looking to embark on four nuclear new builds using designs from potentially four different vendors. Learn how things didn't go according to plan, but Mark has continued to support the nuclear industry through his Radiant Energy Fund.

 

Before you read on - we have created an email course to guide you through the process of defining your career path into the nuclear industry. Check it out below:

 

Next on the list, we have Mark's most recent podcast, where he appeared on The Power Hungry Podcast. After spending almost two months in Europe, Mark explains why the continent's energy crisis is the result of decades of complacency about energy infrastructure, why Britain is in worse shape than other European countries, how deregulation of the UK's electric market fueled the disaster, why Germany has to preserve its nuclear fleet, and why Europe could be facing energy shortages for years to come.

And finally, another recent podcast from The Narrative Monopoly, in which Mark's knowledge, confidence, conviction and communication skills shine. You will hear about how we should choose nuclear energy ahead of other energy production options, views of natural gas, how New York could have electricity shortages this winter following the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Also, Mark's thoughts on HBO's Chernobyl and the recent successful saving of a nuclear plant in Illinois.

 

As part of the prep for my call with Mark, I didn't need to do much research as I had been aware of and followed Mark for a while now, listening to most of the podcasts he appeared on. I did make a couple of notes to provide an intro on myself, how I tend to guide people through telling their career story and left one final note on my iPad "do not waste time just chatting!"


Well, what do you think happened? We spent 45 minutes talking about all things nuclear, 10 mins on Get Into Nuclear and where it could fit in the marketplace, and the last 5 minutes considering Mark's transferrable skills that he has picked up during his various roles and advice he would give to his younger self.


The below is the result of these 5 mins - and by the way, I had a ball of 60 mins talking with Mark. His knowledge, experience and enthusiasm are like no one else I have come across before. I've no doubt he will continue to make waves across the nuclear landscape and get the rewards that he deserves for the value that he brings.


Advice to a younger self

When considering his transferrable skills, Mark reflects that he is from a working-class community, which has been a massive factor in his ability to talk to different people regardless of their social standing, background, or age.


Mark states that he has always been curious about many things and has always had a keen interest in travelling. And being born into an engineering family, he has picked up the love of problem-solving.


The chance to travel, get involved in problem-solving (saving lives), have great conversations at various levels with new people, including meeting people in the pub and shaping communications outside of others experiences, has meant that nuclear has been a win: win for Mark.


As for advice to his younger self, Mark stated that he would "reassure myself that I've chosen the right thing with nuclear."


Get Into Nuclear

Mark is a fantastic example of how you take your transferrable skills with you throughout your career. And for those that think that nuclear is only for PhD's and people in lab coats, look again at the transferrable skills that Mark values - none of them are about his technical knowledge or qualifications - communication, problem-solving, and curiosity are skills that many possess and can develop.


Head on over to our Career Hub to find out more about the types of jobs available in nuclear and the skills required to land a role. After completing a skills map of your transferrable skills against the positions you are interested in, we can guide you in upskilling yourself and applying for live nuclear jobs.



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