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GEM’s Gems September 2013 – Jamie Ferguson

September 15, 2013

GEM alumnus Jamie Ferguson, a member of Cohort 3, tackled several job opportunities across the country while earning a Master’s degree from the Global Energy Management Program at the CU Denver Business School. Ferguson, 35, is a Financial Analyst at Apex Clean Energy.

M James Ferguson

GEM alumnus Jamie Ferguson

“Currently, I work in Charlottesville, VA for Apex Clean Energy,” he said. “In my role with Apex Clean energy, I work to contract and sell utility scale solar and wind project from 10-300 MWs. My role includes initial evaluations of acquisitions, continued modeling through development, pricing the off-take offers to respond to RFPs, and ultimately valuing the project to bring them market. I work closely with Sponsors, Tax Equity, and banks to perform diligence and structure transactions. Additionally, I am part of a new team trying to develop a new market and work with the federal government to procure their solar energy contracts.”

Ferguson credits the GEM Program for giving him a better appreciation for how large and diverse the energy industry is. “The historical look at the economics and evolution of the industry and importance placed on security is a great primer and base for the program and leads productively into the rest of the program,” he added.

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.

Since the program, I have actually moved across the country for three different opportunities. Directly after graduation I accepted a graduate research position at the Port of Seattle to study renewable energy projects and energy efficiency. This was a very exciting opportunity. The Port, as a Tax Exempt entity, had problems monetizing renewable and efficiency tax credits, but were very interested in adding onsite generation and an energy management program. Power in the Pacific NW is also extremely cheap, so that made adoption economically a little tough too. It was a very rewarding opportunity and an eye opener working in the public sector.

From Seattle I moved down to San Francisco to work for a Solar Developer, Recurrent Energy. Solar was a great industry to work in leading up to the expiration of the Treasury Grant Program. Very fast paced and exciting, we were doing things for the first time, so that is always a thrill.

How did the GEM program benefit you and your company?

I took away from GEM a skill set I would not have necessarily valued as high during class as I do today. The way GEM makes you interact with your professors as CEO’s and write to a C-Level audience has been extremely useful. I am a more polished writer and more comfortable giving presentations. The group work was also very productive. To this day, I seek the advice of my very first group. I’ve also had the chance to work with a couple classmates professionally too, so that’s great.

What were some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

Get lunch. I always needed a break and hanging out on a nice fall or summer day was a great way to break up the day. Happy hours are a close second.

What were some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends?

I forgot everything. Those are long days, and I always was missing something it felt like. If you show up prepared and engage in class then you don’t really need anything special though.

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students.

I just enjoyed the banter between sessions. Whether I was learning about Polar Bears hunting their prey by covering their noses with their paws, or playing high low on when Justin would show up in the morning, it’s the down times that were the most fun.

 Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?

I chose the GEM program because I was working in the industry for a company that was struggling. I recognized I needed to broaden my skill set, and GEM offered a great comprehensive program and the ability to continue working.

Has GEM changed your perspective? If so, how so?

GEM gave me a better appreciation for how large and diverse the energy industry is. The historical look at the economics and evolution of the industry and importance placed on security is a great primer and base for the program and leads productively into the rest of the program.

Is there anything new in your life?

Aside for the vagabond life style I’ve been living, I’ve gotten married and hopefully settled down in Charlottesville VA. (But we’ll see).

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