Our next Five-Year Update comes from Amlan Saha, who demonstrates true Fletcheresque qualities in a first sentence that includes words from Serbo-Croatian and Arabic and references to three geographic areas. His photo adds a third geographic area — it was taken in Guatemala. Here’s Amlan’s story:
It all started in 2001, when, over some Slovak slivovica on a felucca in the Nile, a fellow traveler who had just finished work in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer enthused about her plans to study public policy in graduate school. I was already thinking about going back to school, but until then had spared no thought for anything other than an MBA.
Since graduating from the National University of Singapore with a degree in engineering in 1998, I had worked at a national research laboratory, set up an internet/telecoms company, which went bust in 2001 along with the collapse of the dotcom bubble, and then worked for the German engineering giant Siemens. In short, technology and business summed up my pre-Fletcher professional experience.
But I was also a nerd (still am!) who loved politics far more than sports. At around the same time that I was giving shape to my graduate school dream, oil prices hit $35 a barrel, climbing about 300 percent in just 18 months. Listening to the talking heads in the following weeks provided a timely reminder that in the business of energy, geopolitics and regulation were never far away. I was onto something.
Because my undergraduate degree was in engineering, I still wanted to do an MBA, but the conversation on the boat in Egypt led me to explore programs that brought together public policy, business decision making, and national security. The possibility of shaping political processes that create rules, regulations, and programs to impact society was exciting.
In 2004, I started attending the Fletcher (MALD) and HEC Paris (MBA) dual degree program.
The MBA part of my program, which I completed before arriving in Medford, focused on economics and finance. At Fletcher, therefore, I dived headlong into public policy and international security.
Fletcher’s MALD curriculum was flexible enough to let me to create my own “Public Policy Analysis” Field of Study from the long list of courses on offer. In fact, the list was so long, all incredibly good and tempting, that letting me choose my own classes was a bit like giving a kid the key to the candy store. I also cross-registered at the Harvard Law School.
I found Prof. Gideon’s classes particularly valuable. Skills I picked up in her classes have been extremely helpful in modeling real-life policy conundrums at work since graduation.
After graduating from Fletcher, I joined the strategic energy/environmental consulting firm M.J. Bradley and Associates. At MJB&A, I assist energy companies to navigate regulatory and market issues, assess economic implications of environmental regulations, and drive wholesale electricity market development.
Uniquely satisfying rewards at work include, among others, having the Chairman of the Environmental and Public Works Committee in the U.S. Senate refer to my analysis when discussing energy legislation and a Congressman use my work as a prop to explain to constituents his support for an energy bill.
I am currently a Vice President at the firm.
I also write (less frequently than I would like to) a blog.