Energy Club Strikes a Gusher in Texas

The HBS Energy Club traveled to The University of Texas at Austin September 28-29 to participate in the 2nd Annual National Energy Finance Challenge.

Codenamed “The Proved Reserves,” the HBS team beat the likes of Wharton, Chicago, Kellogg and NYU Stern to finish second place out of 16 top MBA programs. Berkeley’s Haas school finished first in a tight final round judged by senior executives from energy companies including Chevron, TXU and Simmons & Company.

The HBS team included Captain Matthew Commons (OD), Ricardo Concha (OF), Ankit Singhvi (OH), Will Shimer (OE) and Michael Walsh (OJ). These five ECs worked around the clock from Tuesday, when they received the case by email, through Thursday evening, when the case was due in Austin. After a networking dinner at the Texas State History Museum (recognizable by the giant 35-foot “Lone Star” outside), the team retired to rehearse the presentation and catch a few hours of sleep.

Come Friday, groups were in character as members of a corporate negotiations team for a fictional oil company called McKween, with plans to build a liquefied natural gas project located in the imaginary African island nation of Nirvana. HBS nailed the numbers, showed a unique global perspective for the investment, and stood up to the withering technical questions from professional oil executives.

After the awards presentation, the team met up with its fans and fellow classmates Simon Belsham (OJ), Yorkshire-born Rob Deeming (OA) and Claire Woolston (OJ) for a night out on Austin’s famed Sixth Street. UT lived up to its Princeton Review-certified reputation as “America’s #1 Party School” with live music, great barbecue and plenty of “Lone Star” beer. During its “Sake-oki” (Sake/karaoke) party, the ZBT fraternity accepted several HBS students as honorary pledges.

The Texas hospitality continued on Saturday with the Longhorns’ home football game. A little disappointed with their second place finish in the case competition, the Proved Reserves raised the bar in tailgate flip-cup with a string of outstanding victories against the Texans.

The Longhorns did not disappoint with a bone-crushing win over Sam Houston State. By the end of the first quarter the game was all over and attention turned to the action on the sidelines where some talented cheerleaders performed in chaps, a deafening Longhorns’ cannon roared and the passionate Longhorns fans celebrated.

The HBS team would like to thank the Energy Club and their faculty sponsor, Professor Forest Reinhardt.

October 10, 2006
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