Tyler Van Leeuwen ’14

Post-MBA Position: Royal Dutch Shell

I’m really here to learn how we can wrap management around smart climate practice.

Before SOM, I worked in energy consulting at a small boutique firm in Washington, D.C. We spent a lot of time working with various governments, helping them understand how to meet increasing energy demand while respecting CO2 emissions limits. The moment that I decided I wanted an MBA was when we were at a conference table presenting some work to a client, and they essentially told us, "This is really interesting work. Our board will never sign off on it." I realized then that I needed to be in the client's shoes. I needed to be on their side of the table, and getting there would require an MBA.

I was drawn to SOM because its interdisciplinary curriculum is so well suited to the energy and the environmental space. To help solve these problems, I need to understand everything from chemistry to finance and to be able to talk to people in the corporate world, at nonprofits, in government. And SOM gives you the flexibility to take courses all around Yale. I've taken a lot of classes at the forestry school because I wanted to understand more about the environmental context of management, and I was able to study climate science and policy with some of the world's foremost experts. I'm really here to learn how we can wrap management around smart climate practice.

I owe my new job—working at Royal Dutch Shell on their CO2 strategy group—to the advice and support I received from my alumni mentor, Roberto Jiménez. I reached out to him at the beginning of my first year at SOM and said, "You have my dream job. I would love for you to help me understand how I can get into the space." Now, after many interviews and many emails and an independent study that I worked on with Roberto, I actually have a job on his team at Shell.

The Career Development Office has been a great ally as well. I worked with them every step of the way: "Can you proof this email? How does my résumé look? What's the best way to prepare for this interview?" To have so many people who are really experienced and qualified behind you, knowing that they have your back, has been a wonderful experience.

Interviewed on May 1, 2014.

Related: Alumni Mentorship Leads to 'Dream Job' Tackling Climate Change at Shell

Tyler Van Leeuwen
Post-MBA Position: Royal Dutch Shell