Inspired by SGE and the Johnson Community

by Miles Archer, MBA ’18 and Environmental Finance and Impact Investing Fellow (7/25/17)

Miles Archer, MBA ’18 and Environmental Finance and Impact Investing Fellow

How I’ve drawn from Johnson lessons to succeed at my internship. 

People go to business school for a variety of reasons: to improve their analytical and problem solving skills, to advance within their current company, or to transition to a new role or industry. As I considered my career to date as a legal analyst, I knew I wanted to transition to a more exciting field. I knew that at the end of the day, I wanted to be able to do something tangible and say “I did that”. I decided to seize the moment, go to business school and transition into the renewable energy sector. Johnson’s community and classes have been crucial in successfully making this transition.

This summer, I’m working at Global Capital Finance, an international investment banking and financial services firm, providing innovative advice to public and private sector clients worldwide, with a strategic focus on the renewable energy sector. This has offered me the opportunity to work with a range of clients across international markets and understand their differing objectives. As I navigate these diverse tasks I find myself constantly drawing on the lessons of Johnson.

One of my first assignments was to research the renewable energy markets in the United Kingdom. As I researched these markets, I drew directly from my experiences in the Sustainable Global Enterprise (SGE) Immersion. In the SGE Immersion, my team worked directly with an energy-industry client. We evaluated their current market positioning, conducted independent research, and suggested strategic opportunities. As we did this research, I honed my ability to quickly understand new and complicated industries. I learned to analyze an industry’s future based on changing supply, regulatory and demand constraints. This proved very useful as I studied the shifting regulatory and financial support environment for renewable energy. To do this I had to distill down the regulations governing Renewable Origination Certificate and Contracts for Difference auctions. Then I had to be able to succinctly summarize the differences between these financial support instruments and explain their significances going forward.

Assembling my pitch books has necessitated constructing case studies about the United Kingdom Renewables market. To do this, I’ve drawn heavily on my finance related courses. I’ve had to know the difference between differing financing structures and their impacts on a company’s financial statements. As I assemble these financial models I continue to hear the voices of Professor Saar and Libby walking me through the different line items in the financial statements. I then transition to Professor Kim’s voice as I assemble financial models for valuation. These skills will continue to prove valuable as we bid to buy and sell renewable energy projects.

As I continue to work on other pitch books, I’ve drawn from more than just my classes. More than anything, I’ve drawn from the inspiration of my Johnson classmates. As I do the research I hear the questions they would ask of my work, as I prepare the decks I think of how they would arrange the slides and before I submit the project I think if it would be good enough from them. I’ve learned so much from my Johnson classmates. I know their lessons will continue to propel me into the future. I know these lessons will help me to realize my dream of building renewable energy projects that I can point to and say “I did that”.