Notable Graduates: Alex Kemppainen MME ’23

headshot of a male student
Name: Alex Kemppainen
Degree Program: Master of Management in Energy (MME)

Hometown (City and State): St. Louis, Missouri

Fun fact about yourself:
Both my parents went to Tulane for undergrad, and my brother is currently a freshman at the university.

Why did you decide to get your master’s degree?
I decided to earn the Master of Management in Energy because I wanted to develop greater specialized knowledge and advancement within the energy industry. Tulane’s coursework and staff were extremely beneficial for me during my undergrad time, so I figured it was the right choice to pursue the next level.

What was your favorite course and why?
My favorite course during my master’s program was Renewable Energy Project Finance and Development. I enjoyed the course because it is ultimately what I want to do in my career in the energy space, and the class structure was very engaging and practical for students. The class was taught by two professors, Pierre Moses and Josh Herlands, each of whom has excellent experience on the development and project finance sides of the industry, respectively. The class was organized into the finance and development sides, which made it easy to follow.

Who is your favorite business professor? What made them special?

My favorite professor at Tulane is Pierre Conner. He is the current executive director of the Tulane Energy Institute, and his Energy Markets and Policy course I took during my junior year is the reason why I am pursuing a career in the energy industry. I really enjoyed his style of teaching and always felt like he explained things well.

Did you participate in any extracurricular activities, community work or leadership roles at Tulane?
Yes, I participated in different activities/held leadership roles during my time at Tulane. These activities included:

1. Energy Club Event Coordinator

2. Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity Internal Vice President
3. Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity Member
4. Dance Marathon Team Captain

5. Second Harvest Food Bank Fundraising Coordinator

6. Take Paws Rescue Fundraising Coordinator

7. New Orleans Mission Volunteer

8. Habitat for Humanity Volunteer

9. Intramural Sports Team Captain

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy exercising (basketball, tennis, running, lifting weights), playing music (guitar and piano), and going on adventures.
What is your past work or internship experience? 
My previous internship experience is displayed below:

1. Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund,
 Equity Research Analyst
2. Meltek, Energy Analyst Intern, New Orleans, LA
3. Tulane Energy Institute,
Teaching Assistant
4. Entergy (Keystring Labs), Innovation Intern, New Orleans, LA
5. Brinton Family Health and Healing Center,
Bilingual Intern, New Orleans, LA
6. Peloton Interactive, Inc.,
Field Specialist, St. Louis, MO
7. Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch, and Champion,
Legal Intern, St. Louis, MO

Where will you be working after graduation?
I will be working at NextEra Energy Resources in Juno Beach, FL, as a business rotation associate.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
I’d love to work on energy projects in space at some point in my career. I’d also love to be a key player in the decarbonization of the planet.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of, and why?
The achievement I would say I’m most proud of is graduating cum laude for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. One of the biggest things I learned from college is time management, and it feels good knowing that I was able to successfully balance my educational, social, and extracurricular efforts.

If you were talking to someone who was considering Freeman, what would you tell them?
I would say that if you are looking to jumpstart your career in the business world and gain a holistic educational experience, the Freeman school is the place to be. Not only is the school highly regarded around the U.S., but its alumni network and strong faculty have significantly helped me shape the direction of my future career.

What are your favorite things to do in New Orleans? Do you have a favorite New Orleans
My favorite things to do in New Orleans are listen to live jazz music, eat southern cuisines, and go to the fly.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
In five years, I hope to be a successful player in the energy space, working in some type of consulting/asset management role where I help facilitate various deals for clean energy projects.

What are your tips for balancing coursework, work and your personal life?
Focus on one thing at a time. You will always be tasked with multiple things to do, and depending on your involvement, the thought of having to deal with each of these tasks all at once can be stressful. The way I’ve been able to deal with these things is not to micromanage but rather pick one task to complete and then move to the next one.