Alvaro Lara, MSc CCMF 2018
Programme:
MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance 2018
Nationality:
Canadian
Undergraduate education:

BEng. Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto

Job prior to studying at the Business School:

Consultant, Navigant

Job after studying at the Business School:

Senior Consultant, Energy & Utilities, Guidehouse

Alvaro was looking for a multidisciplinary programme with a strong focus on climate change, sustainability and energy, while also providing a solid business foundation in finance and economics. The MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance provided this. 

Your time at Imperial College Business School

Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

I was looking for a multidisciplinary programme with a strong focus on climate change, sustainability and energy. Imperial is really the only top-tier business school that offers an MSc programme with such a multidisciplinary focus. Thhe Business School really does leverage the very best of both worlds with this programme: expertise in finance, economics and marketing (from the Business School), along with expertise in climate science, energy, and technology (from the College).

What was the most important earning point you took with you from the Business School? And the most surprising thing about the programme?

The most important takeaway from my time at the Business School has definitely been realising what a powerful tool finance can be, and also how finance can be used to address many of the challenges posed by climate change. This is exactly why a good friend of mine, Valentin Jahn, and I proposed to launch the Climate Investment Challenge – we realised that tapping into the brainpower of business students here in the UK and globally to address climate change could be very impactful.

What was most surprising about the programme was how diverse our cohort was. Diverse in terms of educational and professional backgrounds, and geographically. Everyone brought very different perspectives, insights and experience to the classroom, which really enhanced the overall learning experience.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?

Apply! If you’re interested and excited about the intersection of climate and business, and how finance and technology can be used to solve our energy and climate challenges, then this is the right programme for you.

Tell us about your current job

How was your career transformed following your programme?

The programme opened many doors and possibilities at work, and outside of work. My knowledge of the energy industry, prior to the programme, was quite narrow. The programme exposed me to different realities of the energy industry, across different regions and facing different regulatory and market challenges. I was also exposed to more far-reaching challenges and complexities arising from climate change, both in developing and developed economies.

I think this global outlook of the programme really influenced my career soon after. Following the programme, I returned to consulting and was based in Dubai for about half a year, after which I moved back to London. I then moved to the tech space for about a year, working in electric mobility, and most recently, I’ve come back to consulting once again, this time in Amsterdam.

How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?

What I learned during the programme has really been taken over my professional and personal interests over time. For example, the finance and business courses have been a solid foundation that let me have more educated and intelligent discussions about investment plans and business cases, and I’m sure this will continue to be super important in the future.

What do you enjoy most about your current work?

Every client engagement is an opportunity to learn and innovate. Every project offers new challenges, complexities and perspectives, and in the end, the solution to the problem and the recommendations provided to the client are unique, insightful and (ideally) transformational.

What are the most exciting and difficult challenges facing your sector currently?

The energy sector is going through a drastic and massive transformation, and underpinning that transformation are many challenges. Among those, some of the most exciting (and difficult) challenges the energy sector faces are the decarbonisation of electricity and gas supply, the electrification of road transportation, and the ever-evolving role of consumers in the energy landscape.

Alumni community

In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?

Remaining connected and engaged to my Business School alumni network has been super important both personally and professionally. We share such a unique interest in climate, energy and sustainability topics so we always end up bumping into one another in professional settings or at industry/networking events. It feels like a small world, so it’s important to keep connected with folks from the Business School. 

Have you volunteered at the Business School since you graduated? If so, why do you feel it’s important to volunteer your time and experience

I’ve volunteered a few times joining alumni panels and representing my company. I think it’s super important to volunteer with alumni activities because it wasn’t too long ago that I was on the other end (as a student) and benefitted from alumni dedicating a bit of time to students. As a student, I found it very insightful to hear from alumni, their work experience and their career paths. There were always a lot of important takeaways and lessons learned, so I would certainly encourage current alumni to get involved

 

Programme:
MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance 2018
Nationality:
Canadian
Undergraduate education:

BEng. Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto

Job prior to studying at the Business School:

Consultant, Navigant

Job after studying at the Business School:

Senior Consultant, Energy & Utilities, Guidehouse