The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Anish Chadalavada '18

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As a First-Year Fellow, I worked at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is responsible for monitoring the trading and distribution of power commodities such as electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC has jurisdiction over domestic energy commerce and wholesale energy prices. Its top priorities include demand response and transmission planning services, as well as enabling a reliable and efficient electricity grid.

Entering Dartmouth as a student with a multitude of passions, I was faced with the daunting task of narrowing down my variety of interests into a more specific goal that I could pursue professionally. After completing my first year at Dartmouth, it seemed I had come no closer to deciding whether I wanted to pursue investment banking, software engineering, business consulting, or something completely different. However, after interning at FERC (my first professional internship), I came closer to discovering what it was that I was truly passionate about. At the FERC, I gained valuable exposure to the complex financial side of energy markets, and techniques that traders and large banking institutions used in order to influence energy prices to their benefit. I also developed a better understanding of the importance of software engineering, and its versatility. I know now that I would like to further pursue computer science and mathematics. Even if I do pursue a career in finance, I would like it to be in a highly quantitative role.

The most rewarding part of my internship was developing a database that I knew would benefit an organization that was faced with the formidable task of monitoring technologically advanced, ever-changing private sector traders using a government budget. One of my favorite memories from my internship was getting to sit in on a deposition and hear witness testimony on the first floor of the FERC headquarters, as FERC lawyers battled to prosecute energy manipulation. 
Another great experience I had during my internship was getting a chance to bond with the several FERC employees who were former Dartmouth alums, two of whom lived in the same freshman dormitory as me! Furthermore, the Chairman of the Commission, Norman Bay, also a Dartmouth alum, took time out of his busy schedule to get lunch with me, my mentor and supervisor, and the other Dartmouth alums at FERC on my last day. I was impressed and proud of the tangible connection among all the Dartmouth alums at FERC and the loyalty they felt to their alma mater. I know now with certainty that wherever my career takes me in the future, I need only to seek out my fellow Dartmouth alums to help me feel like I am at home.
-Written by Anish Chadalavada '18
This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy. 

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