Environmental Policy and Management ‘13
Chief Strategy Officer, Instant ON, LLC
David graduated in 2013 after majoring in Honors Environmental Policy and Management with a focus in Corporate Energy and Sustainability. Today, he lives in California where he is helping pave the way for resiliency in California through the integration of microgrid technologies. David was involved in many extracurriculars throughout his undergraduate career in addition to completing sustainability-related internships with Honda and AEP Energy.
Read the interview with David:
A Glance at David’s Current Work
I began consulting independently for a variety of companies throughout California to integrate energy solutions for customers within the commercial, industrial, and new housing sectors. I've seen how the sustainability paradigm has evolved from money savings and efficiency, to resiliency.
I have been fortunate to be in a position that allows me to take my knowledge and experience and help businesses, communities and families ensure that they have the power they need through the integration of microgrids. I help take the vision of our company and create go-to-market strategies for our initiatives, technologies and solutions. The greatest feeling is to know that you are visibly leaving an impact on the community you live in.
What were you involved in during your undergraduate career?
Extracurricular involvement was incredibly important for my personal and professional development at Ohio State. I was a student mentor for new students within the Environmental Economic Development Sustainability major, was the treasurer of Students for a Sustainable Campus, was a Net Impact member and Newcomb Scholar Award recipient, completed a sustainability study abroad experience in Australia, conducted honors research, and was the founding president of Ohio State’s Intergalactic Science Fiction Club.
Did you have any internships or seasonal positions in college?
Balancing internships with classes helped prepare me for real-world work environments and connected me to incredible mentors and resources. I completed Honda’s North American Purchasing’s Sustainable Supply Chain Co-op, Honda Transmission Manufacturing Facility’s Environment Health and Safety Co-op, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation’s Efficiency Smart Benchmarking Coordinator Internship, as well as several canvassing and community development positions with AEP Energy, DP&L Energy, and Ohio Citizen Action.
What experience do you feel was most valuable in your professional development?
I took time to truly think about the “why” of what I do and committed to that vision. As well, I surrounded myself with a network of amazing professionals that helped guide me toward success. A smart person learns from his mistakes, a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes.
"Life is never as straightforward as one would think. If you are receptive to the opportunities that come your way and can live with confidence that you’ve been making the most of each moment that comes, you will be surprised by the possibilities."
What was your next step after graduation?
I started pursuing my career immediately after graduation. However, through moving to California, I get to always feel like I am on vacation, no matter how hard I work! This helped a lot.
What was most important to you in your job search?
In any job, I look for the opportunity of growth, I look for a team that can support me, and I need to know that I will feel passionate about the work that I do every day.
If you don’t have an advanced degree, do you feel that has been limiting for you? Would you consider getting an advanced degree in the future, or are you happy with your current opportunities?
I’ve seen that companies value real-world experience and industry specific certifications – such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building Performance Institute (BPI) – more so than that of graduate experience. The most effective way to look for opportunities is through networking with industry experts and demonstrating that you are someone great and reliable to work with.
Advice for Current Students
Be committed to being the best you can be, in the present moment. Have a vision in mind, but know that patience and discipline is needed to get there. Life is never as straightforward as one would think. If you are receptive to the opportunities that come your way and can live with confidence that you’ve been making the most of each moment that comes, you will be surprised by the possibilities. This world needs leaders, and only you can decide to pick up the mantle and carve a path forward.
How to connect with David:
Post created March 2020