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Aimee Duffy

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EMBA in Energy Alumni Spotlight: Aimee Duffy

Headshot of Aimee Duffy

It was a desire to write that led Aimee Duffy into the energy sector. After majoring in history as an undergraduate, she took a job writing financial commentary for an online investing website, where she most enjoyed writing about energy.  

From there, she found open doors, taking a job as an operations analyst at a heating fuels distributor and later moving to Apex Clean Energy. It was at Apex where the Charlottesville, Virginia, resident saw that though her writing, critical thinking and communication skills were strong, her lack of exposure to the business world created a knowledge gap. 

So, she seized the opportunity to earn an Executive MBA in Energy at the University of Oklahoma and build the business acumen she felt she lacked. 

As of 2024, Duffy works as director of asset management at Apex Clean Energy. When she sat down for this interview in March 2021, she was an asset manager. Read on to learn more about her experience as a member of Class 13 in OU's EMBA in Energy program.  

What did you gain from the program?  

As expected, I’ve gained exposure to topics I had not touched at all. I think a lot of people are lifelong learners, and just because you didn’t study something in undergrad doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have learned about it later. But the things I had exposure to at my company, I was able to enhance my understanding of a lot of those concepts through this program. 

Additionally, I started asking different questions at work after taking some of these classes. A perfect example of that is the first accounting class. You know, I’d looked at financial statements, but I’ve never tried to build one or put one together because I didn’t need to, that’s not my job. I need to explain budget variance, but understanding how those come together, what accountants are thinking about, allowed me to go back and have a conversation with my assistant controller and ask very pointed questions about how things work at my company, and I never would have done that without this program.  

How would you describe the interactions of the cohort? 

The challenges of group work are well known if you have a friend who has been to grad school. That is not an issue in this program because you’ve got everybody who’s in basically the same situation. Most likely you have a family, you have a full-time job, and you don’t have time to ... mess around, so everybody’s motivated to do the work. But I also think that the work is interesting and there’s just a really nice rapport because everyone comes from maybe a similar industry background, but a very different specific role in that industry. You’ve got something to add to each assignment. The cohort just got along really, really well. Everyone’s just very respectful and we all enjoy each other, so that has been great.  

What stood out to you about the program? 

The thing that really surprised me, and it stayed as true in week one as it has here in the last week, is just the level of, I don’t know, energy-sector stardom, we’ll say. The fact that we have the chief commercial officer of Valero teaching one of our classes is crazy, the chairman of Plains All American Pipeline. Most people are not going to MBA programs and having the all-stars of the field actually teach their classes, so that has been terrific. You gain the subject matter education, but you also get the career and the life experience handed down to you as well, and that’s invaluable.