Trifecta for career success
Internships, energy conferences and research opportunities complement the coursework.
Events give students unique access to industry leaders and are built around key questions to which answers are unclear. “In 2016 we explored whether the U.S. oil share revolution would ‘go global,’” says Arbogast. “In 2018, the questions were around the all-in costs of driving wind/solar deep into electricity generation and the lowest cost path for doing so. In 2019, we inquired as to whether new technologies for carbon capture were ready for commercial deployment.”
Students conduct research studies in advance of the events and present their findings at the conference. “This work further burnishes both their expertise and their credentials in the energy field,” says Arbogast.
The MBA Energy Club is a vital part of the learning experience. Student leaders organize seminars, networking events and case competitions for classmates pursuing careers in the energy industry. They also conduct treks to energy firms in Boston, Washington D.C., Charlotte and Houston.
“The energy business is foundational to modern life and how we conduct it will greatly impact the quality of life across the globe” says Arbogast. “We are going to need a special generation of energy executives to guide us through this transition.”
Grounding students in the business of energy and the energy transition adds up to a unique preparation. “Our priority is to prepare our graduates to hit the ground running and advance rapidly within any energy business,” says Arbogast. “The concentration curriculum amounts to the equivalent of two to three years of in-house training courses at a firm.”
“Our students have very different conversations with recruiters about the business of energy – and our graduates are ready to make an impact on the job from day one,” says Arbogast. They work on issues and problems they’ve already discussed and analyzed here at UNC Kenan-Flagler.”
The results can be seen in the career outcomes for UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni: A 2019 graduate is Duke Energy’s primary rate-making advisor, succeeding an executive with decades of experience. Other successful graduates work in gas marketing strategy in Brazil and the U.S. Permian basin for ExxonMobil; global environmental, social and government stewardship for Schlumberger; and consulting assignments to nuclear utilities for ScottMadden.
The trifecta of the concentration, the center and the career club help UNC Kenan-Flagler energy students prepare for the immense challenges of the energy business and help them determine where in the value chain they are best suited to serve.