The “Know Your Audience” series on the HBS Recruiting Blog highlights trends in recruiting for various industries. Learn more about student interest, effective recruiting strategies, and best practices from HBS staff dedicated to your industry.

Meet the Team

Phillip Andrews – Corporate Relations Director

Amanda Schmitt – Recruiting Relations Manager

Together, Phillip and Amanda make up the Career & Professional Development team that manages relationships with recruiting partners in the energy sector, including cleantech. They also engage with the Business & Environment Initiative on campus and work directly with students through career coaching and student clubs. Get to know this team as your key partners in energy recruiting at HBS.

What Students Want

In the energy sector, Phillip has found over the past several years that “student interest in energy is both growing and varied.”

At the standing room only Business & Environment Initiative kick off this fall, students interested in energy came in droves to learn more about HBS professors’ research in the field and possible careers in energy. While not all of these students will choose a career in an energy-related field, there is clearly a passion at HBS built on students’ desire to tackle the major energy issues of the day and make a positive impact on the world.

As energy touches many different industries, the students who pursue energy careers are joining companies with a wide range of goals. They leave HBS excited to contribute to companies who are increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovations, improving infrastructure for transportation and natural resources, and making improvements to the smart grid. There are also students interested in oil and gas, consumer goods logistics, agriculture, and manufacturing.

What HBS Brings to the Energy Ecosystem

The diversity within the energy sector also extends to company size. There are startups creating innovative solutions to address energy problems around the world, as well as large established organizations launching renewable brands or investing in energy through venture capital divisions.

For startups in particular, Phillip noted that “As businesses are developing new services and products, they have needs for new hires who can help them in commercialization and market development.” When companies share these needs with HBS, we can help connect them with students who are skilled in strategic planning and business development with a passion for the energy space.

For large companies that are developing or implementing an energy strategy, Amanda sees a chance for recruiters to extend their reach and bring in new talent. “There are opportunities for large corporations to attract interest outside of the traditional MBA functions and into roles focused on energy and sustainability. Those roles can be hard to find for students, but they are very interested and eager to bring their skills and experience.”

Focusing Your Energy on Where It Counts Most

When discussing recruiting strategy with energy and cleantech companies, Amanda and Phillip find that conversations are generally geared towards informal recruiting.

“Some companies may not have the time to be thinking ahead to recruiting months in advance, or it may not make sense to travel for events, and that is perfectly fine. Instead, email students from the resume book whose interests and profiles are a match for your company. Connect those students with MBAs currently working in your company by providing their email addresses. This doesn’t need to be a formal process, in fact, these informal connections can be even more valuable,” said Amanda.

Phillip added, “If you don’t know your specific hiring needs yet, you can post a somewhat ambiguous role on our recruiting platform to get student attention early.” Posting jobs that will have more details to follow can help students learn about your company in the meantime, and connect with the job contact listed on the role so you can craft a role together.

Amanda and Phillip can also include a note about your company in our recruiting platform. Students can see notes about company hiring needs even if a job has not yet been posted.

Bringing Energy to Campus

Recruiting on the HBS campus is still an option, and if you’d like to meet with students face to face, consider some of the effective strategies below that Phillip and Amanda recommend.

  1. Industry Education: “The energy sector lends itself well to industry education rather than recruiting presentations,” said Amanda. “These educational events focused on a topic of interest can attract students who want to learn more about the business of energy but may not have initially thought to come to a recruiting presentation.” Industry education events are also very helpful for building name recognition on campus.

  2. Connect with Student Clubs: There is an active Energy & Environment Club on campus eager to hear from companies working or investing in this space. You can hold events with the club, share job postings, or simply provide a contact students can reach out to for more information. Phillip also recommends connecting with other clubs like the Tech Club and the Sustainability Club as there are many HBS students interested in doing innovative work who could be a great fit for your company.

  3. The Energy Symposium: The Energy Symposium is a conference put on by the Energy & Environment student club. It is held in the fall each year and is a great opportunity to get your company name out there to students early in the year. Contact the club directly for information on ways to get involved.

Partner with HBS

Phillip and Amanda are here to partner with energy companies to help you foster connections with HBS students and meet your hiring goals. They both encourage you not to self-select out of recruiting at HBS, and instead connect with our office to learn more about how a student could help your sustainability team, bring your innovative ideas to market, or contribute their technical and business skills to new ventures.

To discuss your recruiting strategy at HBS, contact Phillip and Amanda today.