Why did you come to work at DC Energy?
Going into my senior year at Yale, I had no idea what sort of career I might want to pursue. I came across DC Energy at the career fair and was intrigued by what I learned about the company. One of the biggest priorities for me is that my work is interesting and intellectually stimulating, and having always been quantitatively-minded and having studied economics and mathematics, DCE’s quantitative problem solving approach was a good fit. I also appreciated the opportunity to work collaboratively with very high caliber individuals in a laid back, friendly environment bearing little resemblance to what I had grown to expect, with trepidation, of the corporate finance world.
What is a workday like for you?
My team trades in a market structured around annual and monthly auctions, and the schedule varies quite a bit with the proximity of an auction. In the week or two leading up to an auction, the primary focus of my workdays is to develop price forecasts based on a combination of historical and forward-looking data using a variety of analytical tools. Once the auction deadline passes, there is more room to focus on long-term projects that seek ultimately to improve our operations. This is a very open-ended problem, and there is a lot of room to dictate the sort of questions you want to tackle and approach you want to take based on your own strengths, interests and initiative.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is that you are able and, in fact, encouraged to contribute meaningfully to idea generation from the very start. You are never just performing routine assignments handed down from above, but rather always thinking critically about what contributions you can make. The level of responsibility and expectations associated with this are high, for sure, but it indicates a level of respect for your abilities, and on top of that all the resources and tools for success are very much available through channels like various training sessions and interactions with your peers. Another great aspect is undoubtedly the people who are at once brilliant, talented, driven, but also somehow well-rounded, interesting and fun to be around.
What do you do outside work?
My favorite activity outside work is rock climbing and more broadly spending time in the outdoors. Work nights often find me at the local climbing gym (biggest in the nation!) and weekends often find me camped out at various climbing destinations in VA, WV, KY, NY, etc, or roaming the local woods with my German Shepherd. That said, when I need to take some rest days the city life here holds plenty of appeal as well - DC has no shortage of cultural attractions, and is a truly unique and beautiful city.
What have you learned at DCE that you were surprised to learn, but are glad you did?
While there is a wealth of useful knowledge to be gleaned from college, it does not necessarily give you the tools to tackle real world, practical problems that have no straightforward, scripted solutions. For example, say you are considering entering into a new market to trade, one you know nothing about. How do you go about this process? How do you figure out what data you might need to develop viable strategies, and how can you get it? How do you evaluate these strategies? Coming out of college one can fall into the trap of thinking there must be easy, right answers for everything. At DCE I learned that this is not the case, which sounds daunting but is really a beautiful thing - anyone can tackle any problem with a methodical approach; there is not just someone holding the answer key.