Threads of maroon and gold are woven throughout Galehead and my career as a renewable energy developer. In 2008 I returned to the Heights for my MBA. In addition to a broad business curriculum that I lean on daily to manage Galehead, I was fortunate to cultivate meaningful relationships that became cornerstones of my career. Professor Fichman helped me understand that the rapid innovations in renewable energy were consistent with an inevitable pattern of “creative destruction” evident in technology since the industrial revolution, a topic I made the subject of my Direct Research thesis. A cliche “cup of coffee” with BC Alum Pete Sullivan ‘97 started a friendship and mentorship going on 10 years, and opened a pathway to my MBA internship and early career at Boston-based developer, First Wind. And while it would take 6 years following our graduation, my Galehead co-founders—Patrick Martin CGSOM ‘10 and John Clifford CGSOM ‘10—were friends and MBA classmates long before we began our startup adventure.
One of our taglines at Galehead is “Dig In.” It’s an applicable concept for utilizing BC as a platform for career development. Dig In: beyond the textbooks and classrooms, after graduation, into the community. And here’s the thing about Digging: it’s hard work. Large cavities in the ground don’t just happen. Digging is intentional, painstaking work; there will be “dry holes.” But exploration of and consistent engagement with the BC community can produce fantastic outcomes for yourself and those you support.
In addition to supporting BCEEAN, the primary way I remain engaged with the BC community has been making myself available to students interested in the energy industry. I’ve had many ad hoc informational meetings with undergraduates, participated in Green Career Nights and the Endeavor program, and recruited at BC for Galehead (besides three co-founder alums, we’ve hired a Class of 2018 graduate and have worked with three fantastic undergraduates through our internship program).
Recently, I returned to campus for a round table conversation with students in the undergraduate Environmental Studies program. The topic was environmental careers and the practical realities of discovering a career path, featuring my own zig zag story from ranch hand to renewable energy developer. Through our internship program and venues like this, I am continually impressed by the caliber and preparedness of the BC students for their intended careers. Many seem to understand or have already demonstrated the application of academic principles into the practical realities of an operating environment. If anything, I see an over-zealousness in their expectation to pre-determine their career or land the perfect job upon graduation. So here was some of my humble advice:
- As a recruiter and hiring manager for Galehead, I believe that excellence is transferable. So don’t neglect your extracurricular or passion projects.
- If you are interested in fields such as technology or renewable energy, or any nascent industry, don’t over-specify your target role. Content Creator and Solar Designer positions didn’t exist (or at least proliferate) 10 years ago. Focus on a great entry point (see # 3) into your field and leave some room for “creative destruction.”
- Compensation and function are critical considerations for post-graduate job considerations, but culture and quality of the company/team you are joining probably have a disproportionate impact on the long-term career trajectory.
- If you are at BC you have already proven that you’re unique, driven, and intelligent. What will likely determine the successful pursuit of a fulfilling career is old-fashioned relationships and communications skills.
Like BC, Galehead is a principled organization. Our values are Bold, Driven and True. In my experience, striving to discover and then align your personal values and career goals, while challenging, is the best formula for meaningful work. By Digging In, BC has played an important role in that alignment for me, and I know for countless others.