While traveling through parts of the developing world, Patrick gained a much greater appreciation for access to clean, safe, and reliable energy. After seven years working as a Consultant in Chicago, Patrick decided to pursue his MBA and transition to a career in Renewable Energy. Patrick explored many top MBA Programs and ultimately chose Fuqua for its focus in Energy & the Environment. During his time at Fuqua, Patrick served on the cabinets of the Energy Club and the Net Impact Club. He worked closely with EDGE to plan ‘Week-In-Cities’ trips to San Francisco and Houston, where he and his classmates visited renewable energy companies. Patrick also led Fuqua’s Green Week efforts, helping other Fuqua students to be more sustainable in their personal and professional lives. With a passion for the industry, Patrick took advantage of every opportunity to learn and explore the energy industry at Duke: He attended a Houston Hydrocarbon excursion, visited local solar farms, attended relevant speakers and enrolled in classes at not only the Fuqua School of Business, but also Nicholas School for the Environment, Duke Law, and the Sanford School of Policy. Patrick had a wonderful summer internship experience at EDP Renewables, one of the largest wind farm developers. Patrick has accepted a full-time position as part of the MBA Leadership Development Program at Pacific Gas & Electric.
Co-President MEM/MBA Club
Angela is passionate about using the power of business to have a positive impact on the world. Her career goal is to help bridge the gap between traditional business practices and corporate responsibility. Prior to attending Duke, Angela worked as a Program Associate at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation managing science grant projects. When deciding to pursue an advance degree she chose Duke because of its premier dual MEM/MBA degree program and interdisciplinary approach to solving global challenges. While at Duke, she has focused on corporate sustainability strategy and gained technical expertise in environmental management along with business strategies and management tools. She has interned with B Lab conducting audits of certified B Corporations and with Kraft Foods researching sustainability marketing strategies. As Co-president of the MEM/MBA Club and a Sustainability Officer in the Net Impact Club, Angela has worked closely with EDGE and seen interest in sustainability at Fuqua strengthen and grow.
President, Duke MBA Energy Club
While working abroad as an NGO project manager in Kenya, Nicaragua and Nepal, Mike became keenly aware of the need for low cost solutions for clean energy technology in the developing world. Mike chose to attend the Nicholas School because of its preeminent energy and environment track. Upon matriculation, Mike applied to Fuqua as he felt he needed to supplement a new skillset in energy with the business skills and acumen that can only come from an MBA. The MEM/MBA program has been invaluable for Mike in preparation for a career in cleantech and renewable energy as it has provided and in depth understanding of the industry and information surrounding its most salient topics. The dual-degree has also given him an advantage over other MBA students pursuing careers in energy. Mike recently accepted a position in the Siemen's graduate program; a 2-year program in which he will rotate domestically and abroad working on Siemen's cleantech and energy related projects. He is excited to start his first rotation in Atlanta this July.
Rachel Lichte is the co-founder of The Clarity Project, a social enterprise that sells fairly sourced fine jewelry and invests all profits back into organizations working in mining communities. Three years after starting The Clarity Project, Rachel decided to return to school in hopes of learning how to strategically bring her impact and business to scale. Rachel says, "I chose Duke's MEM/MBA dual degree to expand my knowledge of the intersection of international development, environment and business." In the program she has been able to integrate coursework and collaborate on projects on issues that are directly relevant to The Clarity Project such as conducting diamond mining policy analysis in Sierra Leone, exploring the effect of mining on water quality and utilizing a resilience framework for problem and solution analysis. Rachel firmly believes in the power of consumers to change how companies behave. She is currently working with a University-wide group of students and faculty to encourage Duke investment responsibility regarding conflict-free minerals. Over the next two years, she is looking forward to learning more about impact investing and standard metrics for social and environmental performance.
Gergely "Nemo" Nemeth
"I believe the world needs a new breed of business [people] who understand the symbiotic relationship between business and the environment. The dual degree is a great way to get the education to be on the leading edge of this" says Nemo, who is earning his MEM/MBA through the Nicholas School and Fuqua. Through this interdisciplinary approach, Nemo has found himself learning from industry leaders in sustainability. "I have had the opportunity to engage in small group discussions with Chad Holliday, former CEO of DuPont, Matt Kistler, Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Walmart and Steve Yucknut, Vice President of Sustainability at Kraft." This past summer, Nemo interned at the Rocky Mountain Institute's Commercial Building Retrofit Initiative. He reduced his carbon footprint by riding his motorcycle roundtrip to Colorado from North Carolina. After graduation, Nemo plans to pursue green real-estate and socially responsible financing in the United States or Hungary, his home country.
Beth worked in international public health before making a career transition to sustainability and management consulting. "Instead of just cutting costs through process improvement or some other methodology, I hope to help companies learn how to save money and innovate by leveraging the power of sustainable business across their value chains." The relationships formed at Duke helped Beth effectively transition her career by "connecting her to the right people, empowering her with a community willing to help her obtain her desired job, and providing her with unique extra-curricular opportunities that truly differentiated her in an applicant pool". Beth actively participates in the Association for Women in Business and the Consulting Club, while also being a CSI, Career and Admissions Fellow.
A native of Northern California, Alex chose Duke because of the size and flexibility of the program. "When I was starting my joint degree in 2007, the program was still small, and EDGE didn't yet exist. I was excited about the opportunity to help shape the MBA/MEM program and to be part of the design process." Alex returned to work in The Golden State after completing her master's thesis about ecolabels in the consumer goods industry. This work gave her applicable knowledge and practical experience within an emerging area of sustainability. By utilizing the Duke network, Alex discovered the BSR conference, which eventually led to an associate role within the Corporate Responsibility Strategy Team at The Walt Disney Company. "My position at Disney wasn't posted through the career management centers at Duke. EDGE's Associate Director, Katie Kross, suggested that I register for the BSR conference. The connections I made at the conference were a tipping point in my job search. They resulted in a number of informational interviews, which kept me in the loop when my current position became available," shares Alex.
Prior to entering the joint degree program, Corinne worked in Accenture's management consulting energy practice and supported United States energy clients in successfully implementing large-scale business transformation projects. Corinne chose the joint degree program at Duke because she felt that compared to other joint MEM/MBA programs, Duke "took a very comprehensive approach to education on the entire energy spectrum - from oil and gas to nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency and more." For her future career goals, Corinne says "I ultimately see myself working to develop low carbon energy generation in the United States and abroad." She also has a passion for corporate sustainability, especially in the energy sector, and is interested in helping utilities shape their sustainability programs and achieve significant reductions in waste and GHG emissions. This past summer Corinne worked as a sustainable development and renewable energy intern at AREVA.
Elise graduated with joint degrees from Fuqua and the Nicholas School while concentrating in Energy & Environment. She has a background in energy efficiency and green building consulting as well as experience in electric market policy and market monitoring. "Many of your peers at Fuqua also come from careers in the energy industry and are great resources as well," Elise says. During her first summer, Elise interned in Walmart's energy division working on carbon reduction strategies for the supply chain. Upon graduating, Elise began the Graduate Programme at Vestas Wind Systems, a Danish wind turbine manufacturer. "For my first 8-month rotation, I have been working in our North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon focused primarily on market intelligence and commercial planning. Over the next two years, I will transition to a sales and key account management role in Vestas' Australian unit and support business development efforts in emerging markets, such as Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East," describes Elise.
Before coming to Duke, Cisco systems employed Deepak for over nine years as an innovator and program manager where he helped build internet routers. With a strong desire to expand his industry focus, Deepak decided upon Fuqua for its integration of management with energy curriculum. "Through course work that connects the evolution of the energy value chain with current trends and future imperatives, I could assemble a diverse and detailed perspective of the energy field." Over the summer, Deepak held a marketing strategy role at IBM, analyzing the competitive landscape for cloud computing, and building recommendations to accelerate the adoption of cloud based solutions. While participating in campus events, Deepak shared some philosophical agreements with Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner John Doerr. "Their call to action, to work on energy issues and accelerate the adoption of technologies that will improve efficiencies, rang true to my own commitment and reinforced my aspirations," Deepak says. Deepak is the Co-president of the Fuqua Energy Club and will complete the Marketing and Energy & Environment concentrations.
Brinda, an engineer and project manager, took advantage of the Energy and Environment concentration because she felt like she could build a legacy. "The Energy and Environment concentration, in its relatively new stage really appealed to me since I knew I would have a hand in shaping the program for future students, leaving my imprint at Duke in the process." In doing so, she was the Strategy Track Manager for the Duke Sustainable Business and Social Impact Conference (SBSI). "Through planning the Duke Conference for Sustainable Business and Social Impact, I worked with a variety of industry leaders throughout the United States, such as executives from Mars Symbioscience, Deloitte, and the EPA, to plan panels on a variety of business issues." Brinda mentions how "it was an excellent opportunity to unite traditional and non-traditional career paths and show how we could all work together to accomplish a goal!" The SBSI drew over 400 registrants, becoming the premiere Net Impact event on campus, a legacy worth admiring. She plans to return to the private sector to drive developments within energy and cleantech.