Tag: energy

Part of a series about summer internships from Olin MBA ’20 students. Today we hear from Tim Segrist who worked at Spire Energy as a corporate development intern.

I spent the summer as a corporate development intern at Spire Inc.—a natural gas distribution company serving cities throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Entering my MBA at Olin I knew I wanted to get involved in mergers and acquisitions and being able to do that from my hometown in St. Louis was a great opportunity.

Throughout the summer, I was able get involved in many of the different steps in the deal process (sourcing, modeling, due diligence, etc.). Ultimately, I was fascinated at how many inputs go into the buying decision as a strategic buyer and how different it is than a strictly financial process.

Day-to-day, my tasks were never the same (no two deals are truly alike, after all). I spent the first few weeks doing a deep-dive into the natural gas industry. It is difficult to be impactful in corporate development without fully understanding what the drivers of the business are.

I enjoyed this process as I was able to connect with different leaders throughout the company and hear about their experiences. My first real project involved doing analysis around the weighted average cost of capital we use for our models and helping build a precedent transactions model for buying local distribution companies (utilities). After that, I did work sourcing potential deals by researching financials, operations, and strategic fit.

Finally, I led the modeling on a deal which gave me practical experience on how to build a model that is scalable, flexible, and accurate. I really appreciated the variety of the role, as it gave me significant opportunity to learn as much as possible.

The internship was valuable for a plethora of reasons—notably, being able to apply classroom learning and work closely with impressive people (the corporate development team consistently presents to the C-suite). If I were to pass along any advice to others looking for/starting an internship:

1. Find a role where you can constantly learn. This summer has given me a lot of clarity on the type of industry, role, and career path I am going to pursue going forward.

2. Talk to as many people as you can throughout the internship—it has given me a great network of people I can keep up with going forward and allowed my projects to be more impactful.


On Sept. 15, WashU alumnus David Levy, ExxonMobil’s Controller, gave a presentation to the Corporate Finance and Investments Industry Seminar. Mr. Levy spent the majority of his time talking about the current energy industry environment. He elaborated on the historical allocations of energy consumption, provided insight into ExxonMobil’s view of how this would change in the future, and detailed some of the innovative methods of oil and gas exploration currently being utilized by ExxonMobil to meet the demands of today’s market.

Alongside his market overview, Mr. Levy also spoke about ExxonMobil specifically. He detailed where the company is involved in the oil and gas industry, which comprises everything from upstream operations like Arctic and deep-sea exploration, to research into products like rubberized materials and lubricants. Fitting for the Finance Industry Seminar, he concluded his presentation with an overview of the corporate finance functions within ExxonMobil and the wide variety of experiences that employees have exposure to.

Guest Blogger: Shawn Adams, MSF Corporate Finance & Investments 2017

The Energy Club at Olin Business School and the Olin Chapter of The Adam Smith Society (TASS) are hosting a discussion at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 27, focusing on the future of renewable energy. Guest speakers include:Robert Bryce, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, John Hickey, Director of the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Joseph Cullen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economics. The event will be held in Bauer Hall room 160.

The discussion will be on the dynamics of the relationship between fossil fuels and alternative energy. Specifically: Do low fossil fuel prices have a long-term impact on alternative energy investment, and if so, how. We also plan to discuss changes in the regulatory environment as well as the impact, and future, of alternative energy subsidies.
Link to more information.

Guest blogger: John Church

What do you get when you mix and match four WashU/Olin students, representing three different graduate programs, from two different schools, and send them off to one of the most competitive MBA case competitions of the year?  When you send these four young women you get a picture of the team standing proudly on the winners’ podium.

The Washington University – Olin Business School Team comprised of Aditi Saxena, MBA’16, Beryl Py Lee, PMBA Class 40, Catherine Briggs, MS Biostatistics – Medical School, and Grace Velker, MBA’17, nabbed 3rd place at the Energy in Emerging Markets case competition held on November 10 at Duke University – Fuqua School of Business. This fantastic outcome was achieved competing against thirteen other teams, including nine representing top-20 MBA programs in the US. Curiously, ten of the 13 teams were all-male teams.

The Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition (EEMCC), sponsored by the MBA Energy Club, engages diverse and creative teams to address real energy challenges affecting the developing world. The one-day competition connects students, academia, and industry in pursuit of unconventional business-based solutions that expose unrecognized opportunities with positive social and environmental impact. Showcasing analytical and presentation skills, future leaders in the energy industry can demonstrate their global mindset, innovative thinking, and passion.

Our congrats to the members of Team Wash U/Olin!  You give us good reason to be proud.

The Case
This year’s case content was sponsored by Off.Grid:Electric (OGE), the world’s first massively scalable “solar as a service” company. Under its MPOWER brand, Off.Grid:Electric distributes high-quality lighting and energy services to communities that cannot access or afford the electrical grid. They employ local agents who specialize in matching their offerings to customer needs and providing all necessary maintenance, with the aim of making renewable energy services available to millions of households across Africa.  Established in Arusha, Tanzania, Off.Grid:Electric has built a thriving business that employs hundreds of Tanzanians to serve the bottom of the pyramid.  Tech and energy giants in US are taking notice, with Off.Grid:Electric receiving investments from Solar City, Vulcan Capital, and the Omidyar Network. For more information, please visit offgrid-electric.com.

This year’s case focused on Off.Grid:Electric’s aspirational product line and how to best serve customers that are looking to access services like television.

For more details on the competition, click here.

In the month before graduation, Michael Gidding, MBA’13, was on a global marathon competing in more challenges with his startup Aerosol Control Technologies (ACT). Before packing up and moving to Cambridge, Mike sent an update on ACT’s latest awards and his post-grad plans.

Mike and his ACT partner, Daniel Garcia, clearly have a winning idea with their business plan to use “soft x-rays” to filter diesel particulates based on a patent developed at Washington University.

Here’s Mike’s update:

Daniel Garcia and I traveled to London for the finale (round 3) of the CleanTech Challenge to compete on April 25-26. (Pictured above: Mike and Dan during Q&A session in London.) This competition is organized by University College London and the London Business School. Our team was one of six teams selected for the finale from 151 round 1 applications and 56 round 2 applications.

Sir Andrew Likierman,Dean of the London Business School, congratulates Mike and Daniel on their runner-up status in the CleanTech Challenge.

We finished as the runner up team!

Costs associated with travel and lodging were generously offset by MBA Programs and Engineering Student Services.

Immediately preceding the CleanTech Challenge, I was in NYC at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit April 22-24 Thanks to WCC and Washington University Career Center for funding assistance.

It was a busy week, I left the conference in NYC at 3:30pm Wednesday to catch a 7pm flight to London. I landed at 7am Thursday, just in time to make it through customs at Heathrow and to the London Business School campus for the start of the CleanTech Challenge at 11am that day! (all times are local.))

This fall, Daniel will pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University.

I’ve accepted a 6-month fellowship in Boston at Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in their Techbridge program. I’ll be working with energy-related startups to identify technical milestones, and helping those startups reach those technical milestones using Fraunhofer’s applied research facilities.

Earlier in the month (April 3 & 4) Daniel and I were in Chicago for the Clean Energy Trust Student Challenge. Earlier this year, ACT was awarded $10,000 as the winner of the Missouri Clean Energy Student Challenge.

This award made ACT eligible to present at the Clean Energy Student Challenge on April 4.   While ACT did not win any funds in Chicago on April 4, our presentation turned a lot of heads and gave the technology and WashU some great publicity.

Needless to say, I had a very positive experience competing in the Clean Energy Trust Student Challenge. A press release is from the competition organizers is here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/luminaid-lab-and-bearing-analytics-capture-100000-grand-prizes-at-2013-clean-energy-challenge-2013-04-05

My participation in the Chicago event was funded by MBA Programs.

There are a million and one ways that Olin, SEAS, and Skandalaris Center have helped me in this process. Truly grateful for my experiences at this school.

Best of luck to Mike and Daniel on their future endeavors. And congrats to Mike on earning three degrees last week! In addition to his MBA, he earned a BS in Chemical Engineering and MS in Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering.