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Gaining Global Expertise on Energy and the Environment in the US and China

Anneliese Gegenheimer
Energy, Resources and Environment 
Hopkins-Nanjing Center Certificate in Chinese and American Studies + Johns Hopkins SAIS Master of Arts '19


Q: What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS and your area of study?

A: I had a few goals going into graduate school: improve my Chinese, learn more about various topics from a policy perspective, and improve my quantitative skills. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) Certificate+Johns Hopkins SAIS MA dual program allowed me to achieve all of these goals. While I was at the HNC, I had the opportunity to learn more about all of the exciting developments taking place in the energy and environment sectors, which led me to concentrate in the school’s Energy, Resources and Environment program, a field which I knew very little about and had no prior experience. I also wanted to learn more about technology and innovation focused policy, which is seeing a lot of movement in the energy sector around renewables, nuclear, and grid infrastructure.

Q: Could you tell us about any professional experiences you had prior to attending the school?

A: Before graduate school, I was a consultant at IBM in Chicago, where I focused on technology and business process consulting. I spent a few years working with SAP sales and implementations, primarily in the manufacturing space, and then shifted over to sales enablement with IBM Watson (artificial intelligence) solutions. Outside of my work with IBM I also started and ran the Chicago Student Invention Convention, an invention program for students in grades K-8. The program was acquired by a local Chicago nonprofit after I moved to China to attend the HNC.

Q: Have you been involved with any extracurricular activities during your studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

A:
While studying at the HNC, I was a student coordinator for a trip on urbanization in China, and I participated on a similar trip focused on China's energy transition. These trips were a great way to combine my interests in ERE and China, and provided access to really interesting organizations in China. I was also a student leader for the ERE trek to San Francisco, where we visited organizations such as utilities, tech companies, and renewable energy manufacturers. I also attended a couple of field trips organized by ERE’s FEST (Frontiers in Energy, Science and Technology), including a visit to coal and nuclear plants. 

Q: What has been one of your top experiences at the school so far?

A:
One of my favorite experiences was participating in the SAIS Women Lead practicum, which took me and my team to Uganda to learn about female teacher welfare in areas with large refugee populations. This was a really great opportunity to design and implement field research that advanced women, and conduct in-depth research on a topic that I wouldn't have learned about otherwise. 

Q: What are your post-graduation plans?

A:
I will be starting a new position as a Senior Analyst at K&M Advisors on their Transaction Services team working on international energy projects.