Exploring careers in cleantech

After four years working at a cleantech company in Waltham, Molly Bales came to MIT Sloan for its expertise in entrepreneurship and sustainability. On campus she manages the Clean Energy Prize, the largest student-run cleantech prize in the country.

I feel strongly about the power of the private sector to find solutions to pressing problems like climate change.

Molly Bales’ environmentalist roots run deep.

“My mother is a big tree hugger so I came by it honestly,” she says. “I have vivid childhood memories of riding in the backseat of our car and my mom constantly pulling over to pick up litter by the sides of the road.”

After college, Molly got a job at Harvest Power, the Waltham-based cleantech company, where she helped U.S. cities develop anaerobic digestion facilities. There, she developed a facility at Disney World that converts 130,000+ tons of its organic waste material into renewable energy.

After four years there, Molly knew there were gaps in her skill set and began looking into MBA programs. “I wanted a school strong in entrepreneurship and sustainability,” she says. “MIT Sloan was perfect.”

For the 2014-2015 school year, Molly is the managing director for the Clean Energy Prize, MIT's cleantech business competition, the largest student-run cleantech prize in the country, and she was also active in the Energy Business Bootcamp, an annual daylong event that brings people working in the energy industry to campus and gives students a chance to understand what it’s like to work in this field and also gives them pointers on how to break in.

During summer 2015, Molly will intern in the energy storage group of NextEra, the third largest electric utility in the U.S. “I feel strongly about the power of the private sector to find solutions to pressing problems like climate change,” she says.