Photo, above: Siddhartha Sharma (left) worked as an intern at Con Edison this past summer.
The only thing on my mind when I decided to pursue an MBA was to move from conventional energy to sustainable energy.
After working more than four years in conventional energy strategy division for one of the largest investment banks, I realized that as much as I enjoy working with numbers and strategy, the carbon and environmental impact of my role on the world was not positive. At the same time, the steady growth in renewable energy sector and how alternative fuel options can have a long-term positive impact started growing on me.
Over the summer I worked with Con Edison, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States. Con Edison was exploring innovative, high-impact business models for electrifying transportation, and because of its unique service territory, the company needed tailored solutions.
As a EDF Climate Corps Fellow intern at Con Edison, I came up with a three-part strategy to help provide such a solution. First, I performed broad research, providing a deep base of knowledge on the electric vehicle (EV) value chain, key players, and international best practices for EVs.
Second, I evaluated specific utility-led pilots, synthesizing the macro and sector-specific research, and created recommendations for Con Edison actions.
Finally, I created several sophisticated financial models that incorporated over 100 variables to determine first- and third-party cash flows and lifetime value. All three pieces, the foundational research, strategic analysis, and financial quantification, positioned Con Edison to make significant, positive impacts in the EV market. I was able to provide a financially viable solution that incorporates huge amount of Carbon savings that go a long way to help NYC meet the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.
I learned a lot about working as an external consultant in a regulated industry and how to cater to various stakeholders, and I definitely attribute a lot of the credit I received for my internship to what I learned in Olin (especially from core classes like strategy, leadership, and corporate finance). The experience of delivering a such an impactful project was something that will help me in the long-term, especially considering the stakeholders were the City of New York, Con Edison, and all of the residents in utility’s territory.
Guest blogger: Siddhartha Sharma is an MBA ’17 student at Olin Business School studying within the consulting platform.