It’s Energy Week here at Darden! Sponsored by the Darden Energy Club, this week will feature a range of programming including panel discussions on the price of oil and its broader economic impact as well as business innovation and climate change, and a Leadership Speaker Series event featuring Thomas F. Farrell II, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Office of Dominion Energy, Inc. We recently caught up with Energy Club President, Sophie Rudolph, to talk more about Energy Week. Check out Sophie’s answers below! 

What is Energy Week?

The goal of the week is to educate our peers on energy-related matters that will impact them across various industries. Topics discussed will include energy pricing, energy usage, technological development, projected industry trends and investing and operating strategies for future business leaders.

What are some of the programming highlights?

We are excited to host Tom Farrell, CEO, chairman and president of Dominion Energy, as part of Darden’s Leadership Speaker Series. Mr. Farrell will share his leadership journey to the C-Suite of one of the largest utilities in the United States. We are also excited to host a panel on business innovation and climate change moderated by Professor Mike Lenox, author of Can Business Save the Earth: Innovating Our Way to Sustainability. We have planned this panel in partnership with the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance (CvilleREA) and look forward to hearing from business leaders including Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy.

How does this week fit into the Darden Energy Club’s mission?

The week will include programming related to oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy and energy efficiency – all sectors covered by the club. It serves our mission of educating students about the energy industry and providing a platform for Darden students to engage with industry professionals.

What have you enjoyed about serving on the club’s leadership board?

I have loved seeing the club grow so significantly over the last two years. There is increasing interest in renewable energy careers in particular, and we have expanded club offerings to meet student demand. Club leadership has worked hard to bring new internship and full-time career opportunities to students, and has introduced new case competitions, conferences, speakers and networking events to our programming.

What would you want a student who is interested in the Energy industry to know about Darden?

I would let students interested in Darden know that Charlottesville is a burgeoning renewable energy hub, and that Darden students have ample opportunities to get involved with CvilleREA member companies while in school. This network has provided students with phenomenal internship opportunities, access to incredible speakers – in particular through the annual Tom Tom Festival – and a deep network of energy industry professionals.

With graduation right around the corner, what will you miss most about your time at Darden?

I’m getting way too emotional trying to answer this question. In short, it’s everything. I’m going to miss the gorgeous grounds, doing work with the sun streaming into the Piano Room every day, laughing and learning with my incredible professors, hiking in beautiful Virginia, going for runs on the Lawn and all of the amazing travel opportunities we get to indulge in. But more than anything I’m going to miss being together with some of the most interesting, compassionate, intelligent people I’ve ever met all day every day.