Meet The MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2019

Alexander Beltes 

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Greek-American former consultant looking for innovative ways to develop clean energy technologies.

Hometown:  Thessaloniki, Greece

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I keep a spreadsheet of all aircraft registration numbers, along with other relevant flight and aircraft information, for every flight I have flown on since 2008, so I can play around with the data.

Undergraduate School and Major: Yale University, Double Major in Mechanical Engineering and Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: 

Kamworks (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)Finance Project Manager. Cambodia’s leading solar energy company.

The NorthBridge Group (Concord, MA), Senior Analyst. Economic and strategic consulting firm serving the electricity and natural gas industries.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At the solar energy company I was working for in Cambodia, I led the development of a new business initiative to monetize our in-house solar technology. The idea was to market our mobile communication technology that allowed for remote data monitoring and remote switching of off-grid solar home systems. This was an entirely new initiative that had to be built from the ground up, and involved developing a new business plan, attracting investment, and hiring new employees.

The most exciting and rewarding part of leading this initiative was getting to work with Sloan’s G-lab team to refine the business plan and fully develop the financial model. I had the opportunity to work closely with 4 Sloan students over the course of several months remotely, and then on the ground in Cambodia for 3 weeks. The G-lab experience added significant value to our business plan, culminating in a refined pitch deck and sophisticated financial model.

I pitched the business plan at the final round of the 7th Asia Forum for Clean Energy Financing in Singapore, where we received the 2nd runner-up award and attracted significant investor interest. With this award, Kamworks has been able to hire a new team dedicated to the technology, helping advance off-grid solar in Southeast Asia.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Time management during the business school application process is key. Test prep, essay writing, and school research cannot all be done at the same time while keeping up with your professional commitments. Setting personal deadlines and goals is vital.

Another piece of advice is to brainstorm and think carefully about what you would like to communicate in your essays before you begin writing. Every essay needs to add new information that isn’t just a review or repetition of what is already on your resume or in your recommendation letters, but rather reveals an additional aspect of who you are. Think about what information you would like to add to your application. This process took me a couple of months, where I would just jot down new essay ideas as they came to me.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  The key factor differentiating Sloan from other business schools in my view was Sloan’s emphasis on experiential learning opportunities throughout the two-year curriculum. While working for a Cambodian solar company, I managed the process of hosting a team of four MIT Sloan students as part of the G-lab program. The hosting application process revealed the standards that the Sloan faculty has in place to ensure that the lab will be a meaningful and valuable learning experience for the Sloan students.

Once I got to working closely with the group of four students, seeing them put their business school knowledge into practice reinforced my idea of attending Sloan. They had an infectious enthusiasm for the program, and hearing all the activities with which they were involved in on campus was exciting. The experiential learning opportunities combined with the academic opportunities at Sloan in the sustainability space made it my business school of choice.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Success after one year would be having secured an internship allowing me to utilize the business skills developed from one year at MIT to create positive impact in the sustainability space. Also, developing a strong network of friends from whom I can learn and in turn contribute to their development.