Spring has sprung and we are pumped up for a big semester. We are making some exciting improvements based on a whole lot of feedback last semester, including a student satisfaction survey, faculty consultations, a benchmarking study, and an informal internal review.
For example, we are developing a more rigorous foundation for the environment track, and bolstering students’ analytic proficiency by running an excel and financial modeling workshop.
We are also boosting our career support for students. Last September we launched “The Program”, a pilot initiative to provide sector-specific career support in collaboration with the Office of Career Services.
Part of this is encouraging students to do some soul searching about the type of future they want, and holding them accountable by requiring them to submit a pipeline of job leads monthly. Students in The Program can book one-on-one career advisory sessions with Professor Bradford, attend tailored networking and interviewing workshops, and participate in specialized forums to discuss challenges and resources in specific fields within the Energy & Environment realm.
Currently, 95 students are participating in “The Program”. We are already quietly celebrating a number of students who have found fantastic jobs well before graduation.
Lots of other things are in the pipeline. We can’t tell you about them just yet, but stay tuned!
If you ever wonder when renewables will play a larger role in America’s energy mix? How does fracking impact our social ecological and financial systems? Will the U.S. export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or curtail its oil consumption in the coming years? If you are interested in answering these questions and pursuing a career in the energy industry, then SIPA is the right place for you.
SIPA’s Energy and Environment concentration is shaping up to be one of the most comprehensive energy programs in the country. The concentration is designed to give students a nuanced understanding of global and domestic energy policies and provides a rigorous training on energy fundamentals and global energy markets. Students admitted into the program are required to take a combination of policy and finance classes that provide the necessary training to solve complex energy issues. From professor Travis Bradford’s Energy System Fundamentals course, to Jonathan Chanis’ Geopolitics of Oil and Natural Gas, energy classes at SIPA prepare students for real world challenges. In these classes you learn about the important role finance and economics play in shaping our energy landscape and how policy influences our decision making as consumers. The program’s leadership clearly understands that students need to walk away with a tangible skill set and require that energy concentrators take other classes such as Corporate Finance, The Economics of Energy, Energy Modeling, U.S. Energy Policy, all of which are classes that build on the foundational principles of the energy sector.
As a complement to classroom learning, SIPA recently launched the Center on Global Energy Policy. This center serves a platform for students to exchange ideas with some of the industry’s leading experts. Jason Bordoff, the center’s current director and former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, has managed to bring high caliber speakers such as Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy; Ryan Lance, CEO of Conoco Phillips; Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others. Other prominent speakers such as Carlos Pascual, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, U.S. State Department and Irik Wærness, Chief Economist, Statoil are slated to address SIPA’s student body in the coming months.
But the effort to create the nation’s top energy program is not just being led by the SIPA administration. Students also play a critical role in enriching the Energy and Environment program. The student run organization, SEA does an outstanding job at organizing weekly roundtable discussions with industry experts. The hour-long interactions offer students the opportunity to directly engage and network with energy practitioners and better understand how classroom concepts apply to the real world, which adds tremendous value to the student experience.
As the world continues to struggle with global energy issues, many elements tied to the energy sector will remain unclear to us, from policy uncertainties, to technological advancements, to developing responsible business practices. In midst of all this ambiguity, one thing is clear to me, and that is SIPA’s commitment to training tomorrow’s energy leaders and attracting the world’s most talented minds. The amount of resources and human energy invested in this program will make SIPA the premiere school to study energy issues in the coming years. The question the administration will have to answer, is can SIPA train enough students before major industry decisions are made in the next 10 to 15 years?
"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."
—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs