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Leaning into Change - How I Came to the FDCE program

Pathways through beach grass

A little over a year ago I was introduced to a few co-workers outside my department who I never had much of an opportunity to interact with day to day. We were steered together through a mutual contact who recognized we all had a very similar desire in being “agents of change” within the energy business. Up until that point in my career I had spent most of my time in the field in support of EPC projects. I was comfortable with my responsibilities as a Construction Manager and loved all the great people I worked with but didn’t feel like I was exactly where I needed to be.

I knew I wanted to do more with my career and through my interactions with the new peer group, it was time to start pushing myself outside my comfort zone and seek new opportunities. By chance, one of the guys in that peer group (shout out to Will Hardison FDCE ’21) mentioned he was in the program and that piqued my interest. I knew that I had substantial knowledge gaps in the mechanics of our business, and they were a hurdle that I couldn’t research or network my way over. With some solid support at work and from home I decided to apply.

After being accepted into this year’s cohort I was of course ecstatic but as the days crept closer to the first class I began to panic. It’s been a decade since I finished graduate school and a lot had changed.  My wife (Katie) and I had 3 children (Max, Evelyn, and Hank) since then and I’ve never experienced online learning. Not to mention I was always the type of student that needed to put forth a tad more effort.

As we started our Orientation Session, Coral Bielecki lead the new cohort in a breathing exercise and reminded us all “to be in the moment”. That was my first cue at how much thought was put into the program and throughout Orientation my concerns about my own abilities to keep up were put to rest. I still wasn’t sure how well the networking and cohort interaction piece would work online. I know after more than a year of Teams and Zoom calls there were some critical elements missing from daily business. In the first week of the Policy Session, it became clear how the structure of the lectures and assignments naturally encouraged engagement and interaction. The cohort was entirely representative of “change agents” that I gravitated towards at work in the first place.

The level of engagement has been outstanding from week one. The interactions with others in the cohort as well as with facility and staff has been on point. The course work has exponentially increased my ability to be conversive around industry topics I wouldn’t have felt comfortable talking about a year ago. At the end of last year, I started a new position within my company in Corporate Development where I get to put into practice all the lessons I’ve learned in the program. It’s no surprise but I’m frequently flipping back through lectures and models as they pertain to my new world. I can’t wait to see what else I will learn from the last half of the program as well as from the rest of the cohort!


Learn more about the Financing and Deploying Clean Energy certificate program and see if it's right for you!  Apply by March 13, 2022.