For today’s blog we sit down with Griffin Hart for a more about his experience as a University of Rhode Island intern to full-time employee
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to work at BPE?
I grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island not far from the BPE office. I attended the University of Rhode Island and graduated in 2023. I started my time at URI as an Undecided Business major. I switched to an Environmental Economics major during my sophomore year purely based on the growth I was seeing in the sector. I took classes in sustainability in forestry, fishing, and energy.
I then began pursuing a certificate in energy and decided that I wanted to work in the energy industry after graduating. I reached out to Eric Swift about an internship opportunity for the summer going into my senior year and met with him for an interview. I went into it thinking the energy industry was just renewable energy, but my eyes were opened to retail power and gas consultancy and all that entails.
Eric helped me to understand the importance of procuring energy in a sophisticated manner and why it is a valuable skill to have in a short conversation. It seemed like a great opportunity and was local, only 10 minutes from URI. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made to come on to the team.
How was your Internship experience?
My internship experience was great. My manager, Eric, spent a lot of time getting me up to speed what we do at BPE. I had no background in retail energy so Eric’s job of giving me a base of knowledge to work with was not an easy task. He taught me a lot, but also sat me down with members of the team to have discussion and learn about BPE from all angles. It allowed me to see what I liked and disliked and gave me an idea of what I wanted to do when I came on full-time.
I had a few smaller projects from the back end, such as helping build a hedging-analysis retrospective for one of our largest clients, or helping TJ Salisbury build out forecasts based on different weather conditions for the upcoming winter. During my first month here, Rhode Island passed RPS legislation, and the company exploded. They had negotiated with the government to put grandfathering language into the bill being passed and ended up saving clients millions of dollars in under a month. It was exciting to watch firsthand and gave me a great insight into the extra mile we take to bring our clients the best.
What is your current role at BPE, and what are your key responsibilities?
My current role at BPE is an Energy Consultant. It’s my job to “shout our message from the mountain-tops” as Bryan would say. I introduce our company to potential clients, working with them to uncover any of their energy/business needs and see if there is an opportunity to fill those needs. Then I let the guys on the back-end do the heavy lifting on how to execute those pain points.
I get to talk to so many people in almost every industry imaginable and have learned so much about how some businesses operate by doing this.
What do you enjoy most about working at BPE?
Two things stand out to me the most. The first is the office environment. A large majority of our personnel is located all around the Northeast, so there are a select few of us that end up in the office daily. I spend a lot of time learning from and talking to the guys that I see every day.
Two of the guys are fresh out of school like me which makes my life easier as I can learn and grow with them. Calvin is another Energy Consultant who graduated from URI with me. We have a running competition against each other and it pushes us to be the best.
The second thing that stands out is everybody’s willingness to take time out of their busy schedule to help me learn or offer advice. I’ve never had a situation where I am left wondering what to do as I have unlimited resources at my disposal. Most of the guys have been in the industry for decades, so it is great to be able to pick their brains. These guys really go above and beyond to help me get to where I want to be in my career which I really appreciate.
Could you share a memorable experience during your time here?
One stand-out experience was the company-organized organized golf-outing we had this summer. It’s become an annual event here and with so many competitive people at the company it’s a great time. I was on a team with the other young guys and we took the old-timers to a 2 hole playoff and won which was great. It’s always fun to get to know your colleagues outside of the office, especially since a lot of them work remotely.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work that you’d like to share?
When I’m not talking to soon-to-be clients, I like to run, lift, play basketball or really anything that keeps me active. I recently have tried picking up pickleball but I’m not sure how long that’ll last. I also like to read, play guitar, and pop over to Newport for great seafood and nightlife.
Are there any team members or colleagues who have been especially supportive or inspirational to you?
A few stand out. Bryan Yagoobian, Jon Luckenbach, and Eric Swift are all senior members of the team that I see daily in the office. All three have given me fantastic training and advice and have given me a great foundation of knowledge to build upon for the rest of my career.
Mike Morin takes time out of his extremely busy schedule to meet with me regularly to retrospectively go over my work and talk about future activities. He is without a doubt the best in the industry at what he does so speaking with him is the best experience I could get.
How do you like living in Narragansett area?
After only catching the outer 9 months during my time at URI, it was great to live down here during the summer finally and be so close to the beach.
Favorite Restaurant in the area?
It has to be Mews. They’ve got something for everyone there, and I worked there during college, so I know a lot of the employees. They are great people with great food and great beer.
I’m a big Celtics guy. I was too young to see their 2008 winning season so I’m still waiting for Tatum to take them to the promised land. I think this is our year, but I’ve said that the past two years so I’m pretty sure I have no idea what I’m talking about.