According to the World Economic Forum, climate change and insufficient investing are two of the top ten global challenges we currently face. Although there have been many recent technological advances in the energy sector, energy-related CO2 emissions increased worldwide by 1.7% in 2017 and ~12% of the global population still lacks access to electricity.

Developing new technologies and investing in infrastructure are imperative to reduce CO2 emissions, increase access to electricity, and enable economic prosperity. My previous experience across the energy, mining, and transportation sectors led me to pursue opportunities in the investment and technology sectors while at HBS.

During the recruiting process with Shell, I had the opportunity to interact with senior leaders and learn about the ambitious strategy that Shell has of reshaping the energy landscape by investing in “new energy” technologies (e.g. renewables, electric utilities, low carbon intensity biofuels). This inspired me to join the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) group at Shell, from where I have been able to invest in the types of cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to mitigate the urgent challenges highlighted above. Here are three of my favorite things about my internship.

1. Investing in forefront technologies to reduce the global carbon footprint

Shell has set ambitious goals to invest $25-30 billion annually and to reduce its net carbon footprint by 20% by 2035. The M&A team is contributing to this effort by facilitating multi-million-dollar transactions that brings new energy technologies to Shell. During my internship, I have had the opportunity to work on three M&A deals in the new energy space. These companies have developed innovative technologies that will help Shell reduce its net carbon footprint and gain knowledge to scale Shell’s new energy business. Being part of these endeavors that have such a positive impact on our planet has been extremely fulfilling and inspiring.

2. Sharpening financial skills to complement my consulting background

Prior to HBS, I gained substantial experience in the energy industry as a management consultant and as an advisor to the Executive President of the association whose member base generates ~90% of the Chile’s electricity. Joining Shell’s M&A group has been a unique opportunity to expand my perspective on the energy sector to include an investing angle. Key M&A workstreams such as due diligence, company valuation, and counterparty negotiation have helped me put into practice many of the core concepts I learned in the first-year Finance curriculum. In order to be successful in any industry, I believe that it is beneficial to be able to view opportunities through various perspectives and strengthening my finance acumen has significantly broadened my understanding of the industry ecosystem.

3. Gaining international exposure in a unique working environment

At HBS, I have enjoyed the opportunity to build friendships with classmates from all walks of life, and through these relationships I have been inspired by the multitude of ways that my classmates are shaping the world. Shell’s M&A group has many similar characteristics to an HBS classroom. My team is comprised of people from diverse professional backgrounds - former bankers, consultants, engineers - as well as from a diverse set of countries such as the US, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Colombia, and Argentina. Since energy challenges are global issues, I believe that working on a team with multi-national perspectives brings a significant advantage to identifying solutions. I also believe that this multicultural environment provides an opportunity to grow personally by learning from new and different cultures.

Although there is a consensus that new technologies will reshape the energy landscape, there are still doubts about the pace of the transition. I believe that a ~$400-billion revenue company like Shell has an out-sized responsibility to commit to transform the energy industry, and I am proud to contribute to accelerate that transition.