Aaron Benedict: 'I hope to help our nation respond to climate change by transitioning from fossil fuels'

May 24, 2016

Aaron Benedict

College Scholar

Syracuse, NY

What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?

During my freshman year, I loved my classes and did quite well. Yet I struggled to decide upon a major because I was fascinated by interdisciplinary subject matters. When I spoke with my faculty advisor, he told me about the College Scholar Program. It perfectly matched my diverse interests. I applied for admission and I was delighted to be accepted. From that point forward, I worked with incredible professors who challenged me on matters that perfectly matched my interests on subjects including climate change science, history, energy regulatory policy, law and disruptive technological innovation. I could not have otherwise so perfectly matched my intellectual passions with a single or even a double major in another field.

What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?

During my junior year, I worked on Professor Zhang’s graduate engineering research team that was responsible for the creation of the Tompkins County Energy Plan. The plan set out the county’s long-term climate and energy policy goals. My experience working on this project gave me first-hand insights into how local communities establish and evolve their energy policies. This past month, our team’s plan was enacted into law by Tompkins County.

What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

After graduation I plan to move to Boston where I will begin working for Eaton Vance Investment Managers. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a career in finance and specialize in clean energy investment to help our nation respond to climate change by transitioning from fossil fuels.

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