Matt Heling came to Haas to shift his career within cleantech and gain immediate and measurable ROI in the process.
On the eve of graduating from the Berkeley Haas Evening & Weekend MBA Program, he has landed a new position with SunEdison developing and driving the financial products that enable homeowners to "go solar."
Here's how he did it:
Aim for a finance-oriented career in cleantech
Heling crafted his career plan around an early interest in clean energy. In six years, at Pacific Gas & Electric, he worked first in power generation technology, then shifted to utility policy and strategy related to “behind the meter” generation, such as rooftop solar, and moved onto the economics of utility-scale generation.
This culminated in his recent move from PG&E to SunEdison, where he is a senior manager in structured finance.
“Part of SunEdison’s business plan requires providing financing in the growing residential solar market,” he explains. “I’m working on the back end to create financial models, facilitate financial partnerships, and attract the investors needed to enable homeowners to shift toward clean energy.”
Structure coursework and leverage career management services
Achieving his career goal depended on structuring his courses. Once core courses were behind him, Heling dedicated the remainder of his part-time MBA studies to electives that deepened his proficiency in technical fields such as economics, finance, and energy. Classes like Energy Infrastructure & Project Finance, Financial Statement Modeling for Finance Careers, and Energy & Environmental Markets gave him the knowledge and credibility he would need to make a career move.
In his third year, Heling polished his leadership skills in classes like Power & Politics and Global Leadership. “I couldn’t have planned the timing of those classes better,” he says. “They are preparing me well to navigate in a new company.”
Outside of the classroom, Lara Klein, of the Career Management Group, offered counsel “in the form of questions that really made me think things through and come to my own conclusions,” Heling says.
Along with two classmates working in the energy sector, he formed an ad hoc support group, to “share our networks and quiz each other to prepare for interviews. Most importantly, we were there to commiserate with and inspire each other.”
Gain immediate, measurable MBA ROI
For Heling, other reasons for coming to b-school have come to fruition too. His network is vastly bigger than before, and his new job comes with a salary boost. Best of all, his horizons are broader: “Thanks to my Berkeley MBA, I have so many more options.”
Broader horizons—that's one reason to choose the Berkeley MBA. We invite you to check out 10 more.