Adrienne Lalle graduated from Fuqua’s Daytime MBA program in 2015 with concentrations in Energy Finance and Decision Sciences.
She shares some of the highlights of her experience at Fuqua in this Q&A.
What was your career path before Fuqua?
I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with my bachelors in Chemical Engineering and chose to spend the next 5 years in management and energy consulting for ICF International and Deloitte.
Why did you choose to come to Fuqua?
After 3 years of energy management consulting, I knew I would never fully understand the issues facing the power and utility industry or have a significant role in solving these problems without spending time working for a utility. Fuqua has a strong energy reputation, bolstered by the Energy Finance concentration.
What were you involved with during your time at Fuqua? (clubs, experiential learning, etc)
What was your favorite class that you took at Fuqua?
Tough call! Being an engineer, Core Operations will always be my favorite but I really enjoyed Energy, Markets, and Innovation; Derivatives; and Statistics.
Describe the work you are doing today.
I am currently a Commercial Associate at Duke Energy, which gives me the opportunity to rotate through four different positions over two years. Last summer I worked in project finance with the Commercial Renewables group and am now in Corporate Strategy.
What is your favorite part about your current job?
The CAP (Commercial Associate Program) is an amazing opportunity to extend my learning for another two years through exposure to different functional roles and different departments.
What do you think are the most critical skills needed as an MBA entering the energy industry?
Most importantly, finance. The energy industry has a lot of experienced subject matter experts, what it needs are big picture strategists with a finance skill set.
How did you first put your foot in the door to get in the energy industry?
Perseverance. When there wasn’t immediately an opening on an energy project, I did side projects for the Energy partners at my firm until they gave me the chance on a new project.
Lastly, do you have any tips or words of advice for the current students who are interested in entering the energy/sustainability industry?
Energy people are incredibly passionate about their industry and looking for others with the same quality. If you can demonstrate you have the same passion, it will resonate with recruiters.
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