Meet James Gill, Energy Markets Manager, at Voltus. James is an analytic powerhouse, understanding the inner workings of the US energy markets. James is not only exceptionally smart, but is a supportive teammate, always willing to lend a helping hand. James calls San Diego, CA home.
What is your favorite part of working at Voltus?
JG: The people. Unequivocally. It is not possible to put into words how special a group of people there is at Voltus. It’s a genuine honor to work side-by-side with this team day in and day out.
What is your backstory? How did you start with Voltus?
JG: I always wanted to get my PhD in Mathematics. When I graduated undergrad, I took a “year-off” and worked as an Energy Analyst at Itron. After a year, I went off to work on my PhD in Oregon and Irvine, but I soon realized I wanted to go back into industry. I went back to Itron in 2015 and worked on some great projects. Soon after that, Itron acquired Comverge and I had the opportunity to work on DER product development and data science projects in the utility industry.
In 2018, Itron was going through a major overhaul and I was offered a new position. In order to vet that offer, I reached out to some friends about their work. One of those friends was Jenna Masuda – who is the best Voltus brand ambassador you’ll ever meet – and she introduced me to Dana Guernsey. The rest, as they say, is history.
How would your life be different if you had to commute into an office every day?
JG: When I was in grad school at Irvine, I commuted 2 hours each way, every day. I was a miserable cur!
Now, I get to walk my dog twice a day. I get to cook dinner for my wife. I have time to exercise and meditate. Those things wouldn’t be possible if I had to commute into an office each day.
I also avoid the stress and discontent of sitting in traffic. I get to spend that energy making the lives of my family/friends and those around me better.
Show us your daily POV.
Has teleworking limited your productivity in any way?
JG: When I first started at Voltus, I had a difficult time figuring out how to get people’s attention. In previous roles, I would just show up at someone’s office and wait for them to be available – they couldn’t avoid me!
It took me a while to get comfortable picking up the phone and calling my co-workers. Within a few months though, I actually felt like my productivity improved. I’m so focused at home that I get more and more done.
In your mind, what is the biggest advantage of a remote team?
JG: By being remote, we’ve been able to bring together some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. I get to work with easily the brightest, grittiest, and good-est team everyday, despite only seeing them a few times per year.