Student Profile: Finding the Balance
Will Sparker í10
Co-leader, Energy Club
Post-MBA Position: ExxonMobil
I grew up in Houston, which is still pretty much the energy capital of the world. Right out of college, I went to work in the industry. I worked in strategy for a large exploration and production company before moving on to a pipeline corporation.
I think what drew me to oil and gas initially was how vital it is to daily life. Without it, we simply canít keep our economy going. Prior to coming to Yale, I was very much in the traditional oil and gas silo, if you will. And although I am going back to ExxonMobil after graduation, my perspective on what energy means to the world has changed a lot. Itís not just about how many prospects we can drill or what kind of production we can develop from a well. It's about finding that balance between the traditional resources and some of the renewable resources. Is energy efficiency the answer? Itís that ability to see an issue from multiple angles, to see how an industry impacts a wide array of stakeholders, that defines the SOM approach. Iím convinced that skill will be invaluable to me as I progress in my career.
Iím one of the leaders of the Energy Club. This has probably been the most rewarding activity Iíve done at SOM. In this role, Iíve really felt myself grow as a leader. It's one thing to say I read x number of cases, participated in class discussions, and excelled during group projects. Does that make me a good leader? In some sense it does. But I found many of my leadership skills really developed while working in the Energy Club, whether it was participating in case competitions, organizing job treks, or recruiting speakers to come on campus. That daily interaction forced me to elevate myself and apply some of my MBA course work to a real-world setting.
Interviewed on February 24, 2010.