Henry Karongo is a director of business management at NextEra Energy Resources at Juno Beach, Florida.
Tuck taught me the value of the general management toolkit. In my roles since graduation, both in consulting and in industry, I continue to find incredible value in considering the multiple dimensions of business problems such as the strategic implications of pursuing various actions, the operational and financial impact of business decisions, as well as the human factors required for implementation and sustained impact over time.
There are tremendous changes occurring in the power and utilities industry. Shifts in technology, customer requirements, the policy environment and the competitive landscape require utilities to consider how their value proposition to customers will change in the future, and how they need to organize themselves to meet these needs sustainably over time. In my role, I spend much of my time thinking about how to use automation and advanced analytics tools to increase productivity and reduce operating costs. I’m also interested in understanding how the industry can organize and equip its people to fully embrace the uncertainties inherent in the operating environment to exploit new opportunities and uncover innovative ways of doing business.
Investor-owned utilities will likely continue looking for attractive integrated assets which promise significant merger synergies, in addition to one-off asset deals to meet their customer demand requirements. In addition, I’d expect to see other investments in emerging technologies (e.g. electric vehicles, digital analytics platforms with energy applications, distributed generation, storage, etc.) as toeholds for potential future growth.
The problem-solving, interpersonal and leadership skills you’ll pick up from the Tuck experience will form a strong basis for pursuing lots of different paths within the energy industry. I’d suggest spending time on understanding how value is created within the parts of the industry that you’re most interested in, as well as current industry trends. For power and utilities, I’d also recommend learning at a high level how the industry is regulated, how this has influenced the development of different players in North America, and the future strategic implications of regulatory policy for the industry.
I miss the camaraderie among classmates, playing with the T’15 band, the non-winter months, cocktails at Pine at the Hanover Inn, lots of unexpected thought-provoking conversations with faculty in the hallway, and the great dining options all over the Upper Valley. So, tons!