It’s hard to read the business press these days without running into headlines about energy and the environment. They range from tech companies pledging to reduce their carbon footprints and banks adding new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing products to consumer goods companies offering new sustainable products and energy companies investing in renewable power generation assets.

In 2021, $40 billion of VC investment was invested in climate technology ventures. Just this year, Deloitte announced it would invest $1 billion in building its climate and sustainability practice. As investors and consumers increasingly call for companies to respond to social and environmental issues, it’s clear that gaining an understanding of energy and sustainability issues is a good move for MBAs. Working in the energy or sustainability sector not only provides a meaningful way for MBAs to contribute to social good, but it also presents compelling leadership and innovation opportunities.

Since 2010, Fuqua’s Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) has been a hub for expertise in energy, environment, and sustainability topics, bringing industry connections to campus and offering cutting-edge programs for students interested in these topics.

Together, EDGE executive director Dan Vermeer, faculty director Rick Larrick, other campus stakeholders, and I help students connect with experiential learning opportunities, extracurricular activities, and networks to build deep subject matter expertise in energy and environment topics while at Fuqua. 

Sound great? Here are a few of the ways you can get involved with EDGE as an MBA student.

Take the EDGE Seminar.

The for-credit EDGE Seminar course offered in both the fall and spring terms brings industry professionals to campus to talk about current energy and environment topics. The fall seminars primarily feature energy sector speakers, while the spring seminars focus primarily on sustainability and ESG topics.

Work on an EDGE-affiliated FCCP project.

The Fuqua Client Consulting Practicum (FCCP) is a terrific way to apply your MBA skills in a real-world context and build your industry credentials. Specific projects vary from year to year, but a subset of five to eight projects each year feature energy and environment challenges. Dan Vermeer sources and advises these projects.

Become an EDGE Fellow.

EDGE fellows work on research projects and thought leadership in partnership with our center. Most often, fellows work on writing projects for publication on our widely-read MBA EDGE platform. If you have a particular research interest, come talk to us about ways to join an ongoing research project or scope your own.

Participate in events—or lead them!

EDGE is an advisor to several student-run annual events, including the Duke University Energy Conference, Sustainable Business & Social Impact Conference, ClimateCAP Summit, and Blue Economy Summit. We work closely with the teams of students who design, plan, and execute these incredible events.

Most importantly, we at EDGE are here to be a partner to you in your educational journey. Dan, Rick, and I are happy to meet with students any time to help you think through ways to get connected with impactful programming and opportunities at Fuqua. The time is right to be working on energy and sustainable business issues. Come connect with us! In the meantime, watch the video below to hear a current student join me to discuss all the offerings we facilitate for students.