Sr. Associate Manager, Fortune 500 Utilities Firm, Ann Arbor, MI
Solar Energy Intern, Solar Provider, San Jose, CA
Energy Analyst, Consulting Firm, Washington, DC
Market Development Intern, Carbon Generation Firm, New York, NY
It’s hard to miss the chatter about energy jobs right now — whether in traditional sectors or renewables. At Doostang, it’s been just as hard to miss a growing trend among our Premium members: energy and utilities is currently the fastest growing career interest among them.
So, this week we talked to Pedram, a USC Marshall MBA who now works in Strategic Planning for Southern California Edison, the largest subsidiary of Edison International. Listen up, folks, Pedram’s consulting-like role within this dynamic industry may open your eyes to new ways to engage your skills and interests.
How did you get your current position at Southern California Edison?
A lot of times you hear that the best way to find a job is through networking. Well, that turned out to be the case for me as I found my current position by networking in my Business School classes. One of my classmates was working for Southern California Edison at the time and he helped introduce me to the hiring manager.
Describe a day in your life in your current role.
In my current role working in the “Strategic Planning Group” at Southern California Edison, my work is similar to working as an internal consultant. My group takes on large strategic projects that have a significant impact to the corporation. The work is project-based so that means there is a lot of variety in my day-to-day activities. Depending on the nature of the project my daily activities may involve team meetings, working with Excel models, interacting with external parties or updating senior management. Examples of some recent projects include evaluating the financial impact of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, assessing the effect of electric vehicles on electricity demand over the next decade and working to integrate renewable energy into the electric grid.
Where are the career opportunities in energy right now?
I see a broad array of opportunities in the electric sector ranging from positions with utilities, consultants, regulators to renewable energy start-ups. Also, the electric sector currently faces an aging work-force with a large percentage of employees at or near retirement age. This age bubble will likely create a lot of new opportunities for younger professionals. For example Southern California Edison has created two Analyst Rotation Programs to help fill the talent pipeline. One rotation program is in our Power Procurement Business Unit which involves purchasing wholesale electricity and natural gas through contracts and energy markets. The second rotation program is in our Customer Service Business Unit which administers customer programs such as energy efficiency, customer owned solar panels and the roll-out of second of generation electric meters. Both programs are geared towards recent grads (within the last year) and are two year programs with 4 to 6 month assignments through different departments within each Business Unit. Interested applicants should send an email to CollegeRelations AT sce.com.
What are your longer term career plans? How does your current job fit into them?
Longer term, I plan to continue working in the energy industry, in particular the electric industry. Given the world’s increasing demand for sustainable energy sources I see electricity playing a key role in meeting those needs. The electric sector, which has been relatively stagnant for the past several decades, is currently on the cusp of a dramatic change. I think legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increased demand for renewable energy, second-generation electric meters, continued population growth, the nuclear renaissance, and the fruition of the electric car are all powerful market forces that will create significant long term opportunities in the electric sector. There may be a few losers along the way, merchant coal generators seem to be the most at risk, but all in all I’m very bullish on the electric sector.
MBAs on Doostang
Last week, we welcomed Northwestern’s Kellogg School and INSEAD to Doostang’s family of MBA partners. If you are an MBA candidate from one of these schools, might we urge you to upgrade your membership FREE to access thousands of relevant opportunities in a time of scarcity.
Or, perhaps you’ve already landed a job or internship. Word on the street is that, compared to previous years, more MBAs are returning to their pre-MBA careers rather than switching to new ones. What’s your story? Help out your peers by telling us about it.
Happy New Week,