Booth Alumni Reach Out to Help Current Students
When Jeff Bishop, ’13, wanted to pursue an MBA in 2010, he only applied to Chicago Booth because he appreciated the career office’s hard work to secure jobs for students after graduation. Now, in this era of record-breaking unemployment, Bishop wants to return the favor.
“I saw how Booth stepped up in 2008-2009 to place students post graduation,” he said. “So in keeping with that spirit, we have 10 job openings in Houston, Albany, and Salt Lake City that could be of interest to folks who were planning on going into oil and gas, who might have had positions taken away due to the economic downturn with COVID-19. I’m also working now to get one or two current Booth MBA students on my team for summer internships.”
Bishop, CEO and cofounder of Key Capture Energy, has grown the company from a concept in 2016 to a market leader in building large-scale energy storage projects. He primarily focuses on capital fundraising and allocation, commercial and regulatory strategy, and building a best-in-class team of energy professionals. The company currently has 32 employees and a culture that promotes diversity and good work-life balance.
“When I started my career and was looking at opportunities, if I didn’t see diversity on a company’s management team, I knew that as a gay man, I wouldn’t be successful there,” he said. “I want to lead an organization that reflects the broader country.”
Bishop earned a degree in electrical engineering from Rice University, but always knew he wanted to also study business. After receiving his MBA through Booth’s Weekend Program, he worked at Brookfield Renewables and EDP Renewables/Horizon Wind Energy.
“When I was working on my MBA, two of my classmates were in also in the clean energy industry,” he said. “Seven years after taking classes together, we’re all in leadership positions at different energy storage companies. I’m interested in hiring Booth students because they are beyond brilliant and I know the quality of the education they have received.”
Other alumni, like Derek Chen, AB ’06, are reaching out to the school to provide internship opportunities to students struggling to find their dream career opportunities. Although he did not attend Booth, Chen studied economics at the College, and through various alumni functions in Hong Kong, met Mark Barnekow, ’88, the executive director of The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex | The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong. Barnekow has been trying to make crossover connections and increase synergy across the entire university community, and worked with Chen to provide an internship to a Chicago Booth student.
“There is much data that supports the increased lifetime earning potential of graduates related to their first work experience and salary,” Barnekow said. “Internships provide a critical link for students, if managed properly, that helps them learn to work with others from disparate backgrounds and gain valuable experience in their field before they graduate so they can secure their ideal job upon graduation.”
“During this unprecedented and challenging time of COVID-19, it is even more important for alumni to provide opportunities to employ student interns. Doing so will improve the student’s likelihood of securing a good job and increase their chances to begin their post-graduation career on sound footing when compared to their peers from other institutions.”
Chen’s company, Kontiki Capital Management, does not typically offer internships.
“Our work involves deep fundamental and industrial research and analysis that often requires a few years of prior investing and equity research experience,” Chen said. “But lately, through close interaction with the Yuen Campus leadership team in Hong Kong, as well as many UChicago students there, we have started to appreciate the very high quality of talent the school has to offer. And that is why we would like to give the summer internship a try.”
After working with Barnekow, Chen interviewed and hired an intern who will spend two months this summer working in Hong Kong or virtually, if travel is still not possible.
“As an alum, I have always been grateful for the education I received and experience I lived through at UChicago, and I have always wanted to contribute back to the school,” Chen said. “More importantly, given how disruptive COVID-19 has been to the general economy and, in particular, the job market, I could sympathize with the difficulty many students must face trying to secure their internship or full-time job. Thus, I feel this is the time we as UChicago alumni have to step up and offer our help to its students. This is the least we could do in such a difficult world devastated by COVID-19.”
Given the current economic crisis, many Booth students and alumni face new challenges finding employment. If you know of job openings or internship opportunities within your company or community, please share them with us at recruituc@ChicagoBooth.edu.
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