Although she was eager to do research, she wanted to make some experience in the industry to broaden her mind. It was her first challenge as a woman to find a job in a sector that is mostly fulfilled with men. She actually missed her first opportunity in one of the power companies because of her gender, which was told to her outspokenly. However, she was motivated enough to wait and look for opportunities. After a year, she ended up getting a job in a company that every person in the sector wished to work. In this position she was the first female trader in the Iranian electricity market. She tried to continue her research work while working, but it was difficult as she had many responsibilities even on weekends. Therefore, she decided to leave her job and continue research work. However, her knowledge in the industry has been useful in research.
She was interested in Nordic electricity market, which was a world fore-runner in creating a liberalized, multi-national electricity market and so, she contacted her supervisor and asked her if she had an open position. “No need to say that she is one of the best in this major, and I was really lucky, and it is my honor that I have the chance to learn from her, and I can follow my dreams as a researcher here in Aalto”, says Anahita.
Anahita’s research is about modeling the electricity market and she is currently focusing on the Nordic-Baltic countries. She has done research about market power in the Iranian electricity market, Finland and the Baltic countries. Besides these, two of her recent works with colleagues are about the impacts of removing hard coal in Finland in the electricity market.
Anahita thinks that best part of working as a researcher is to work in a lively, and collaborative atmosphere along with learning the latest subjects in her major. She starts her day by making a to-do list and goes through the works based on the priority. As her work is collaborative, she usually talks to her colleagues to discuss the topics. Her research questions may change, or new ideas may arise during these talks. “I learned a lot from my colleagues since I started this work”, Anahita tells.
Her future goal is to make some industry experience in Nordic electricity market besides her research work. “I think experience in industry can make me a better researcher”, she concludes. However, it has been only a year since she started her work as a researcher, so she expects to learn many new topics during her PhD.
Her decision on becoming a researcher in electricity markets was based on her interest. However, her family support paved her way to make decisions and to make her path fearlessly. Her parents gave a good advice that success comes from enthusiasm.
Her tip to future students of mechanical engineering is that it is an interesting and rewarding major, which can open up so many doors for them. It provides them a broad range of courses and career options. Getting involved in projects and doing internships can help students better understand their interests. “So, step out of your comfort zone. Initial assumptions can be wrong”, Anahita advices.