Yale School of Management

Christian Balderrama ’16

MBA for Executives (Focus: Sustainability); Associate Director, Scotiabank

I’m combining my technical knowledge about oil with real understanding about how it’s going to affect our business, our customers, and our competitors.

I was working as an engineer for an oil and gas company in Texas when I became interested in the business side of the industry. I saw big potential in some new hydrocarbon-extraction methods and in the growing impact that renewable energy sources were having on the sector and on countries’ economies. That’s when I started thinking about getting an MBA, and I switched to an investment banking role, buying and selling oil and gas fields.

I’m from Bolivia, and I want to return one day and start an oil company. I’d like to play a role in improving the country and bettering society. Yale SOM’s mission of preparing leaders for business and society, combined with the Executive Program’s sustainability track, really fit what I was looking for.

Coming from a technical background, I didn’t have experience with accounting or finance. The integrated curriculum has given me a whole new skill set. Now when I’m meeting with CEOs and CFOs who are thinking about selling or buying oil fields, and they ask, “What’s the price forecast? What’s the rate of return?” I can answer.

I’m also gaining a much broader perspective on business at SOM. I’m combining my technical knowledge about oil—its viscosity and permeability, how it’s going to flow—with real understanding about how it’s going to affect our business, our customers, and our competitors. At the end, it’s financials that move business, but understanding the technical side and the impact on sustainability really fills in the big picture.

Interviewed on November 13, 2015.

Christian Balderrama

MBA for Executives (Focus: Sustainability); Associate Director, Scotiabank

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