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Career Profiles – Diana Coggin

Career Field Prior to HBS:
General Electric, Operations management leadership program, GE Energy, Six Sigma Black belt

Position in Horizon Wind Energy:
Business development intern

Why did you choose an internship with Horizon Wind Energy?
Working at GE Energy piqued my interest in the energy sector, and my passion for protecting the environment made alternative energy particularly attractive.ÿ I learned about Horizon Wind Energy while researching renewable energy companies in my hometown of Houston and was impressed by the publicly available information I found.ÿ Conversations with fellow HBS students who had worked for and interacted with Horizon confirmed my interest in pursuing an internship.

What made you decide on interning in the Midwest?
The regional director responsible for development in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern U.S. thought my background would be a good fit for a few projects he had in mind.ÿ I knew that the Midwest was an active area in terms of wind development, and after meeting the hiring manager and learning more about the job, I decided to go for it.ÿ I had never been to Minneapolis but had heard great things about the city, all of which turned out to be true.ÿThe summer weather and the “10,000 lakes” were gorgeous, people were very friendly, and it didn’t hurt having an awesome sectionmate (Marc Weiner) as my roommate! ÿ

Summarize your internship experience – the good, the bad & the overall.
I had a fantastic experience working for Horizon Wind Energy, primarily because I had a great manager, who promised on my first day that the experience would be a “baptism by fire” introduction to the wind industry. ÿI worked on a variety of projects that gave me an in-depth understanding about how wind farms are developed: from site selection and land acquisition to environmental review and transmission development.ÿ I also analyzed the competitive landscape and learned new skills that enabled me to map wind turbines, transmission lines and other power generation projects throughout the U.S. using GIS software. There really wasn’t anything “bad” about my experience.ÿ It did take a while getting used to the small office environment after working in manufacturing plants with hundreds of people, but it was a welcomed change.ÿI embraced their company culture and workplace philosophy – having open office spaces without cubicles truly fostered teamwork and collaboration.ÿ Lastly, since I supported two regions, I had the opportunity to travel to the Northeast office, and I enjoyed visits to wind farms and to the headquarters in Houston over the course of the summer.

February 22, 2010
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