On the last weekend of September, companies and students gathered in Spangler for the second annual HBS Energy Symposium. Present were twenty-five companies that represented the entire energy industry from drillers and exploration and production companies to utilities and alternative energy to consultants and investment banks. In addition to several of the big players such as Shell and Schlumberger, there were smaller entrepreneurial exploration firms and clean energy start-ups.
There was also a strong showing of the ‘traditional’ HBS recruiters – McKinsey, BCG, Lehman, Goldman and Morgan Stanley. Each company talked about their industry and their company’s future. Many spoke of the desire to recruit MBA’s for future leadership roles and learning the energy industry.
In addition, the company-sponsored panels, to thought-provoking keynote speeches were presented by Adrian Lajous, the former chairman of Pemex (Mexico’s state oil company, and one of the largest in the world), on “The challenges facing the industry in a post-Iraq world”; and by Ambassador Quincey Lumsden on “The prospects for cooperation between producer and consumer countries”. The Power Sector panel’s discussion on the consequences of this summer’s New York black-out was also particularly interesting.
The energy business has tremendous potential going forward. The range of opportunities, the challenging issues that corporations face and the opportunity to make a first hand impact on improving lives of people around the world makes this an exciting avenue for MBA students to pursue. Technology has been and will continue to be a key driver in providing sustained value for the energy industry. The industry also offers one of the biggest challenges to successfully create, implement and harness the latest in the technology space.
The energy industry is huge, representing a third of the World GDP, making it the largest economic sector. For all of you first years who missed this year’s event, if you are interested in a dynamic and interesting career that really makes a difference, make sure you don’t miss next year’s HBS Energy Symposium 2004. Fantastic and profitable opportunities exist for those students willing to think outside the box and take the energy road.