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Executive Education

Julie Rostagni – Understanding the energy sector of tomorrow

For the last 12 years, I have been working for Groupe PSA where I began as a Combustion Engineer before becoming a Project Manager. Today, my position as a Program Manager is a cross-functional management role that involves working with stakeholders from different sectors in the company and suppliers. As well as this, I am the strategy designer for a Fintech start-up that capitalizes on cryptocurrencies and AI optimization to develop funds.

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THE MAJOR IN ENERGY

 

The third industrial revolution is changing our energy sources and we are now gradually moving from fossil fuels towards renewable energy. This shift, combined with the impact of digitization, means that every industry needs to adapt and embrace these changes. I decided to follow this Major to increase my understanding of today’s energy sector as well as the one of tomorrow. I was especially eager to learn about the financial market mechanism differences between oil, gas and electricity.

For me, the Major was the best experience I had during the Executive MBA. The course content was both demanding and of excellent quality and we were able to apply the theoretical knowledge we acquired in real-life simulations and case studies. The guest lectures added an extra dimension to the learning experience, and allowed us to explore the topics in greater depth.

 

EXPERIENCE OF THE PROGRAM

 

The experience has changed me a lot! It was a very demanding program, both academically and in terms of soft skills. Apart from the colossal amount of learning, the program has also given me much greater confidence in presenting conclusions, in reasoning and in pitching before a high-level audience.

Every aspect of the program was excellent – the content, the lectures, the professors, the organization, the events and the cohort. As an engineer, I particularly enjoyed visiting the plants. During both weeks of the program, we were invited to see some unique and amazing facilities and have a complete overview of their business models. In Qatar, for example, we went to the largest LNG facility in the world and toured the LNG plant. In Germany, we visited one of the first autonomous villages in the world, which both produces and sells renewable energy.

The program cohort exemplifies the richness of the HEC Paris experience - a diverse group of highly educated people from all over the world. Most of us on the program were engineers by training, but the design of the program makes it just as relevant for executives from other academic backgrounds. The most important aspect of an Executive MBA is the experience that the participants bring to the program. The brilliance, diversity and kindness of the cohort enabled us to acquire key insights on energy topics and perfect our soft skills. Although most of us were not experts in the energy sector, we still felt perfectly at ease with colleagues who had more in-depth knowledge and with the professors.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

 

The program design enables participants to understand the energy industry as a whole. The most valuable takeaway I acquired was how the value chain of different sources of power impacts resource market mechanisms, and how the geo-economics and geopolitics of resources today will change because of different climate change enforcement scenarios. Thanks to the 2 weeks of program exercises, I would say that the skill I’ve improved the most is the ability pitch a topic that is outside of my area of expertise.

Looking to the future, I have applied for the Energy and Finance Certificate to further my education on market mechanisms and to decide if going into the Energy Finance sector is the right move for me. If not, I would like to work in the renewable energy industry, and more specifically on strategy and defining business models. I am also interested in applying Blockchain in the energy business, with CO2 smart certificates and smart metering that allows peers to exchange energy on-grid. Another area of interest is the supply of electricity to off-grid populations, which is a challenge from both a social business and an economic perspective.

 

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