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Powering Positive Change Through Energy
Portraits 04/06/2024

Powering Positive Change Through Energy

Shiyun Liu comes from Guangzhou, a city in southern China. After a 6-months internship at ENGIE New Ventures, the corporate venture fund of ENGIE, she joined the team as an investment analyst.  Meet a determined, brave and optimistic person.

I truly believe working in the energy industry is the best place to work if you really want to change things.

Never waste time in doubting or double guessing yourself. You are, or you will soon be, qualified for anything you want to do.

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Shiyun and I come from Guangzhou. Cantonese is my mother tongue. I am extremely proud of the history and cultural heritage behind my native language.

Is there a big difference between Cantonese and Mandarin?

Yes, they are two completely different languages. People who only speak Mandarin don’t understand Cantonese. 

Tell us about your career path

 At university, I majored in finance and accounting. During my studies, I did some internships in different fields of finance, such as private equity and M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions). All these experiences helped me discover what I was passionate about: investment and that's why I'm here working at ENV. 

And did you also want to work in something related to energy?

To be honest, before I joined ENGIE, I didn’t even think I could work in the energy sector. But I have always wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on society. Moreover, after interning at a PE (private equity) fund investing in real estate, I was certain that I didn’t want to spend my whole career making the wealthy wealthier, without contributing to society as a whole. 

My 6-month internship at ENV helped me realize the essential role energy plays in shaping our world. Now I truly believe working in the energy industry is the best place to work if you really want to change things. 

What do you like in your work at ENV?

I'm thrilled with what my job is about: using investment strategically in order to support the energy transition. 

And as for my day-to-day work, closing a deal is exciting for all people who work in investment. But by working at ENV, I get  more than that. We can facilitate collaborations between the portfolios’ startups and the Group’s operational entities. It’s not just about wiring some money to the company; it is about helping the startups grow and creating value for ENGIE. It's more meaningful than simply investing for investments sake. 

When you're not working, what do you like to do?

I really love plants. I have a lot of plants at my place and I enjoy spending time taking care of them. This may make me sound a little introverted, but I have to say they have helped me shift towards a better mindset. I am more patient and more willing to embrace imperfections, as growing plants is a natural process and you can’t  exert control over it.

I also do some sport when I have the time. I did boxing for a few years and it  enhanced my physical coordination, like using my legs and arms better and reacting faster.

Do you mean real boxing or fitness boxing?

Real boxing. I hurt my left eye when I was sparring with a partner, in the first month of my internship.  

When did you come to France?

I came to France in 2020, so I’ve been here for almost four years. At the beginning, I had no strong feelings about Paris, probably because I didn’t get the opportunity to know the city and the people here due to COVID. After COVID, I started getting used to life here. There are lots of museums, so I always have somewhere to go in the weekend. I also love spending a day just wandering around the city without any purpose. 

Interacting with French people is also an inspiration. They have a rich cultural background in philosophy, as in many other things and most of them are open-minded. France is also a wonderful place to travel. It has such diverse sceneries, ranging from coastlines to mountains, and I absolutely want to discover more.

There are not many women in finance. Is there anything you wish to tell girls that might be interested in this career path?

There was a time when I felt I was not good enough for my dream job and didn’t dare to apply for it. Maybe it is the case for some women that want to break into Investment/Finance. I would like to share the thoughts I have been using to encourage myself: if the door is closed, it won’t hurt to knock (and even to keep knocking for a long time) at it. When the door finally opens, don’t hesitate and just run over the threshold . Never waste time in doubting or double guessing yourself. You are, or you will soon be, qualified for anything you want to do. Be brave! 

Is there another quote you'd like to mention that is important to you?

My favorite is “Where there is a will, there is a way”. Anything is achievable with enough drive and effort.

If you had to summarize your personality in three words?

I'm determined, perhaps even stubborn at times – these are two sides of the same coin. And I'm also proactive and have an optimistic outlook on life.

And I could add a word for you that would be brave. Because it's quite brave to come to a country where you know no one.

Thank you! I really liked this compliment. I am still doing my best to get braver and braver. 

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