Current Job Title: Senior Consultant (Staff Technical Specialist), Booz Allen Hamilton
Undergraduate Degree: Materials Science & Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
CEE Master’s Program Path and grad year: Master of Engineering (MEng), 2014
What do you do at your job?
I am currently a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. I consult clients on infrastructure, energy and environmental topics, focusing on climate change, clean energy, sustainability, decision analytics and engineering. I work on a wide range of environmental mission projects, supporting the development and implementation of business strategies and policies at the organizational and national levels. I also lead modeling and analyses for projects, evaluating the return-on-investment of publicly- and privately-invested energy, water and sustainability programs and initiatives.
How did your time at Duke prepare you for your current job?
Duke provided flexibility in my education. I was able to enroll in a variety of courses within the Pratt School of Engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Fuqua School of Business. This allowed me to develop an interdisciplinary education tailored to my professional development and career interests. Since I enjoy engaging with a diverse group of people on different topics, Duke’s interdisciplinary education also cultivated my cross-functional skillset that prepared me well for a career in consulting.
What was the most valuable part of your Duke experience?
The personal, one-on-one interactions with professors and access to various career resources across different graduate programs were valuable to my educational and professional development. I enjoyed being a part of the graduate programs’ small, close-knit communities. While serving as a representative of the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) during the second year of my master’s program at Duke, I had the pleasure of meeting graduate and professional students across the graduate schools and organized special fun events, such as game watches for Duke basketball games, social outings and on-campus volunteer activities for students.
What were the most useful classes you took at Duke?
The most useful classes that I took at Duke were:
- ENVIRON 631 Energy Technology & Impact on the Environment
- ENVIRON 716 Modeling for Energy Systems
- ENRGYENV 625 Energy Markets & Innovation
- EGRMGMT 590 Innovation Management in Technology-based Organizations
These courses prepared me well for my career—an intersection of business and technology.
What advice would you give to someone considering a Master's degree in CEE at Duke?
For someone considering a master’s degree in CEE at Duke, my advice is to really think about the potential opportunities that you can develop based on the specialization(s) that you choose for your master’s degree in CEE. Be open to gaining new insights and experiences that may not traditionally be on the path that you imagined. Also, do not be afraid to speak up when talking with your faculty advisors about your interests. I could have finished my master’s program in one-and-a-half years, but I took an extra semester (making it two years at Duke) to broaden my education with other graduate programs.
Why did you choose Duke for your MEng degree?
I chose Duke for my Master of Engineering (MEng) degree to gain an interdisciplinary graduate education that intersected my interests in business, policy, technology and entrepreneurship. Having grown up in a community of liberal arts colleges (Claremont Colleges in Claremont, Calif.) and after attending a large public university (UC Berkeley), I wanted to attend a smaller school with top-notch graduate programs that allowed me to further develop my knowledge and skillset in energy and the environment. Since I have an engineering background, and Duke’s CEE is well-connected with the Nicholas School of the Environment, and Duke’s Master of Engineering Management and Master of Engineering programs are well-connected with the Fuqua School of Business, I felt that I could continue to pursue my engineering studies while exploring new educational opportunities in business and policy. Duke also has a very strong alumni network, and the alumni connections that I have made since I left Duke have provided me mentorship, new career opportunities and friendships across the United States and the world.