Go Sustainable Energy, a local energy consulting business, joined our community for a pair of events this semester.
The first was one of our Community Conversations led by the founder and CEO of the company, John Seryak. John has led a conversation previously with our community when we first started in our Sustainable Energy Student Community.
In this conversation, John spoke a lot about the principles behind his company and how he created and operates a small business in such a large sector. As an energy consultant, John noted that he and his company have found niches that they can enter that allow them to fill gaps that larger corporations and energy developers do not find as lucrative.
He also discussed sustainability as being more than just energy related, but also permeates throughout the culture of his business. He talked about how he wants to create financial stability, not just for the business, but also for his employees that make the business possible.
“We want our workspace to have a good culture,” John said.
He then went on to discuss how that culture promotes the type of work his employees complete. “I ask my staff to invest in relationships,” he noted when discussing the ways the business grows. These relationships help maintain the company, create opportunities, and illuminate the gaps that his group can fill.
“It starts out very transactional, but some percentage of those relationships become opportunities where we can provide better solutions with our team support than it would cost for a company to hire a person to do them without actual staff support.”
Some great insights that John provided included how this work is most rewarding to him.
“I love this work because you can help great organizations save money that helps them with their core mission.” John noted he might never be able to donate $1.5 million to an organization he believes in, but he can help save them that money and that provides a sense of joy and fulfillment.
Another insight came in response to a question from a student about what industries are the hardest to work with when suggesting sustainability measures.
“Sometimes it’s actually harder to convince those who already think they are doing green initiatives or think they know the answer than it is for those who don’t necessarily share the vision,” John said. It was an interesting revelation to learn that sometimes it’s easier to help those starting from nothing in terms of sustainability, than to work with those who are always thinking about it.
Our second event was a Meet & Greet for students looking for employment and internship opportunities in the energy sector. Peter Worley joined students to talk about his path to working at Go Sustainable and talk about the opportunities they might be able to take advantage of in the future.
Peter first talked about his time at The Ohio State University and his internship with Go Sustainable. He enjoyed the culture and the work and realized how important this work was to him. After graduation, he went to California to be at the heart of all of the exciting opportunities in green/sustainable energy but realized that he could make more of an impact by returning to Ohio, a state without much sustainable development.
In talking about the opportunities available to students at Go Sustainable, he talked about various areas of expertise that support the work being done. He talked about the engineers that work on the technology side of the business, but also discussed how Go Sustainable has found a niche in policy analysis and hires policy interns to support the work being done.
Over the course of these two events, students learned about the difficulty of running a business, the various ways in which people with a passion for sustainable energy can make an impact, and how they could get involved with a local company to gain experience in a positive culture.
Thank you to our guests, John Seryak and Peter Worley, as well as all of the students who were able to take advantage of these two great opportunities!