Juan Andres Turner
“American-Venezuelan. Passionate about energy, finance, and of course, my family.”
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Fun Fact About Yourself: I sold wind turbines in the deserts of Peru.
Undergraduate School and Major: Clark University, Political Science.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title:
World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Energy Finance Specialist
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I would say that my biggest accomplishment would be helping to establish a financial reporting framework for the off-grid energy sector. With over 1 billion people lacking access to energy, promoting the rapid scale of energy access is a critical challenge. Off-grid energy companies are proving to be quite successful at helping to address this energy gap. However, accessing commercial financing is still a major issue, due in part to the lack of a common language among investors and companies. Together with my team at the World Bank, I helped design and implement a standard reporting framework for the off-grid energy sector to establish that common language and facilitate access to finance. The framework was officially adopted by the WB, the Industry Organization (GOGLA) and other stakeholders in January of 2018.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Humility. Everyone I have met is incredibly intelligent with a very interesting professional background. Yet, they’re also eager to learn about your own experience and help where they can. It’s clear they see Ross as a community with shared values.
Aside from your classmates, 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? Ross’s “learning by doing” model was key for me. Ross has one of the most structured experiential learning programs of all the top business schools. It is part of the school’s DNA. I want to continue to specialize in energy finance and getting hands-on experience is critical for me. Through both the MAP program and the Energy Club, I will get around 16 extra weeks of work experience, polishing specific skillsets and building relationships in a sector that I’m passionate about.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The Energy Club. If you are looking to get more exposure to the energy industry, the Ross Energy Club provides a fantastic and structured opportunity for you to work with companies. The club’s leadership team has created a great program that provides highly impactful experiences to students and great value to client companies. I hope to be an active member of the club and contribute where I can, including sourcing consulting projects with the World Bank.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I knew that in order to push my career into the next level, it was critical for me to specialize in energy finance, develop stronger networks, and polish critical skillsets.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? It was more of a strategic decision than an economic one. I want to be at the forefront of the energy sector, and an MBA provides me with an accelerated path to build the skills and networks necessary to accomplish my goal. My focus was more on understanding how an MBA would help me accomplish my goal rather than how much it would cost me to accomplish that goal.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Kellogg, Cornell, and Darden
How did you determine your fit at various schools? During my research, I really looked for ways to understand the school’s culture and the student experience. While I would tend to start my research with Poet and Quants’ school summaries, I would focus heavily on informational calls with students from the programs that I would be visiting. Once I visited schools – and I visited every school that I applied to together with my wife and baby (family road trip!) – I would meet with students that were in groups that were important to me such as the energy, finance and diversity clubs. Each of those conversations really helped me understand the school’s culture, program, what I could get out of it, and (just as importantly) where I could contribute.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Several years ago, I worked for a construction company in Nicaragua. Long story short, the company went bankrupt and I was placed in charge of managing the bankruptcy proceedings. As you can imagine, it was a difficult process, but I learned about the importance of feeling comfortable with uncertainty and being flexible. In part, that’s why I have been able to build up a diverse range of interesting experiences, from selling wind turbines in Peru to now working with the World Bank in their energy practice.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? Investment Banking
Where do you see yourself in five years? Vice president at an investment bank.