Join Environmental Leadership Program, Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Alumni Network, and RAY Conservation Fellows for our monthly Mentorship Murmur series. Once a month, we bring together members of the ELP Network to share lessons and experiences from their environmental field career pathway. The hope is to provide more access to the knowledge and wisdom of our community so that it can facilitate new ideas, personal growth, learning and new connections among fellows.

Meet Dhruti Patel, Energy Manager for Brookfield Properties Retail. Dhruti started her professional path within the power industry as a structural engineer designing power plants and then disrupted her career to seek opportunities within the field of energy, sustainability and technology. She brings a unique perspective to the energy management industry and believes that the future of energy is leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This webinar series is an opportunity for you, as DDCSP alumni, RAY fellows and ELP Senior fellows to learn, share and engage in conversations that support your ongoing leadership development, build community and inspire change that builds a more inclusive and representative environmental sector. 

8:10 On unconventional pathways to careers - “When I graduated in 2011, the company I was working for in 2015 did not exist… so even the job I had didn’t exist when I graduated. That meant that the people who gave me advice, that told me that if I wanted to work in sustainability I had to work this one route… People can be wrong. Our professors can potentially be wrong.”

35:24 Challenges of being a woman in the energy sector - [A]s a woman, you have to listen to a lot of men telling you that you’re not good at something. I distinctly remember… somebody telling me they weren’t sure what my credentials were or why I was there or why I was hired... That’s when I realized I’m going to keep hearing that and at some point I’m going to have the courage to stand up and say something. So when somebody  tried to do that in my sixth career… I finally had the courage to say, “I know what I’m doing and either this is a team effort or it’s not.”… You’ll get to a point in your life as well where you just don’t want to deal with this bullshit. 

More about the speaker:

Dhruti is a guest lecturer at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and a graduate mentor with UIC’s Energy Initiative. In 2017, she was recognized as Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 for work at Argonne, and, in 2015, she was recognized as Chicago Scholar’s 35 under 35 Young Professionals Making an Impact for her work in bringing sustainability concepts to middle and high school students. In addition, she is launching a “Energy and Climate Change” walking tour in Chicago this summer.