A week and a half into my internship at Madison, I have already learned so much and am fortunate to be surrounded (albeit virtually) by a fantastic group of people. But even more important than the education and the people, I am most proud to be a part of the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy infrastructure.

To that end, I wanted to share a bit about my journey, and about why I feel so strongly about my work at Madison this summer.

I am currently a rising second year student at Columbia Business School and before joining the program, I worked as an energy market analyst, most recently at IHS Markit. In this role, I was taking in data and intelligence from a vast array of sources and using it to build up to a big picture view of the markets, and of where things were likely to head in the following months and years. My core focus was on the natural gas market.

Natural gas is a unique commodity in that its markets are closely linked to many other parts of the energy sector. Often produced as a by-product of oil production, its supply is tied somewhat to oil economics. And as a major source of fuel for power generation, its demand is tied closely to power sector dynamics and to the economics of competing generation sources like coal and renewables. So, developing a comprehensive forward-looking view on gas meant that my colleagues and I had to have a comprehensive forward-looking view on oil, power, coal, and renewables. The broad, sector-wide perspective offered me a transformative learning experience, especially early in my career.

At the same time, I became increasingly aware of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the effect that has and will have on our world. I became concerned about the sweeping and potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change. And I became increasingly attuned to the ideas and innovations being put forth to counteract these trends; to the steps being taken by individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments to help us steer away from potentially disastrous consequences and towards a stable and sustainable way of life.

I was glad to see that the energy transition was happening, and I believed that it would possibly be the single most important thing that was going to happen in my lifetime.

More and more, I felt the desire to roll up my sleeves, get out on the front lines, and put my effort and ideas into helping drive this transition forward. I wanted to have a hand in the buildout of the clean energy assets and infrastructure that, brick by brick, are laying the foundation for a sustainable future.

This summer at MEI, I get to start that journey with not only their experienced team, but also a group of peers from other top business schools around the country.