Finance Roles for MBAs in the Energy Sector
Erik and Andy have both shared some valuable tips and stories about their experiences with energy recruiting over the past year. With this blog post, I’d like to dive deeper into the various finance roles available to MBAs interested in the energy sector.
My name is John Crelli and I’m the current VP of Finance for the Energy and Cleantech Club. Prior to Tepper, I worked for six years in corporate credit risk management at several international banks in New York City, specializing in power & utilities, oil & gas, and leveraged lending. I plan to continue my finance career post-MBA and am interning this summer at AlixPartners in their Turnaround & Restructuring Services practice.
List of Potential MBA Finance Roles in Energy
Here is an executive summary of the various finance-related roles available to MBAs interested in the energy sector (note this list is certainly not all-encompassing):
Corporate Finance & Corporate Development: Typically at a large energy company or utility, these roles could include budgeting and financial planning, treasury and cash management, mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”), or general strategy. These roles generally require an interest in the energy sector, knowledge of corporate finance concepts and financial modeling, and strong communication skills. Corporate development roles will also usually require prior investment banking or corporate development experience. Example companies include: ExxonMobil, Chevron, NextEra, and Dow.
Project Finance: Typically at a utility, developer, or bank, these roles primarily involve financial modeling and structuring individual power and infrastructure projects. These roles will require more intimate knowledge of the energy sector, financial modeling and valuation experience, and a high attention to detail. Example companies include: Apex Clean Energy, DTE Energy, Credit Agricole, and Cypress Creek Renewables.
Investment Banking: Specifically in Oil & Gas and Power & Utility industry groups, these roles involve helping energy firms raise capital and financial/M&A advisory services. General requirements include an interest in the specific industry sector, knowledge of financial modeling, accounting concepts, and valuation, and strong communication skills. Example companies include: Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and RBC Capital Markets.
Infrastructure/Energy Private Equity: These roles involve investing in energy companies and infrastructure projects with private capital. Prior investment banking or private equity experience will almost always be required and the day-to-day work will be mostly financial modeling and due diligence activities. Example companies include: Partners Group, Brookfield, and Macquarie.
Venture Capital & Sustainable Investing: Less financial modeling heavy than some of the other finance roles, venture capital and sustainable investing involve sourcing and investing in early- and late-stage energy and clean tech companies via a standalone firm or a subsidiary of a larger energy company. These roles may require more technical knowledge and due diligence experience, a strong interest in the energy sector, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Example companies include: Shell Ventures and BCI Technology Investments.
As with most roles in the energy sector for MBAs, substantial networking will be necessary to get access to some of these opportunities. Along with the Energy & Cleantech Club, the Graduate Finance Association is a great resource in preparation for the technical and behavioral aspects of finance interviews (shameless plug as the Co-Head of Corporate Finance for the GFA). The Energy Finance course, taught by Professor Chris Telmer in Mini 4 and a requirement for the Energy Business Track, is another highly recommended way to learn more about finance in the energy industry in preparation for summer internships and post-MBA roles.
Thanks for taking the time to read through the post and please feel free to reach out to myself or any of the other board members to learn more about how Tepper prepares MBA students for finance roles in the energy sector.