Chevron Energy Solutions was the energy efficiency and renewable energy division of Chevron, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.

Its mission: to power the world with creative energy solutions – solar, geothermal, biomass, and energy efficiency – for cities, schools, government, and commercial buildings.

I was at Chevron Energy Solutions for 2 years, as a Student Consultant (September 2012 – December 2012), Research Analyst (December 2012 – June 2013), and Digital Strategist (June 2013 – September 2014).

My primary accomplishments while at Chevron:

  • Core digital marketing strategy generated 150% of yearly qualified lead generation goal
  • Responsive newsletter emails and landing page development (with hyper cross-browser capability: Down to IE7+)
  • Using custom Salesforce and Marketo integrations, managed drip email and lead/account scoring automation
  • Managed student and contracted research analysts for sales support and market insight

We utilized a combined account scoring and lead scoring system, followed by an automated sales call process. From site visits to email, we could track leads’ full digital footprint and display it on Salesforce

In March 2014, Chevron decided to sell the business unit. I took on extra responsibilities in branding, marketing, and web development. In the re-branding for company acquisition, I:

  • Created sketch mock-ups, storyboarding, info architecture, and HTML-based prototypes based on positioning and user feedback — as part of the UX/UI Design Team.
  • Re-branded, re-positioned the new energy brand – as part of the Marketing Team
  • Developed the re-launched web presence for greater digital footprint – as part of a Web Strategy duo
  • Managed a UC Berkeley consulting group’s projects on social media competitive landscape and digital demand generation strategy, persuading leadership to pursue stronger digital investment post-acquisition

I learned many incredible things (personally and professionally) from this position beyond strategies:

  1. Launching a business or product is incredibly rewarding. After the acquisition was announced and my time shifted from simply maintaining our current lead generation system of emails, calls, and sales support, to re-branding, re-positioning, and re-launching all web presences, my heart sang. While Chevron’s culture is safe and the process keeps a tight ship running, the parent company often served as heavy-handed gatekeeper, more than a partner, parent, or ally. This was for good reason because…
  2. The primary asset determines the company’s culture. I used to fret at the austerity I felt, and lamented how slow the process for things could be at Chevron… until a co-worker told me his thoughts. Chevron’s primary asset was oil, and the company’s purpose was meant to protect that primary asset from discovery to delivery. My team had many innovative concepts that our business unit liked, but the corporate brand did not. Only later did I realize it was because their highest ROI was in oil and chemical products, not energy efficiency/renewables. Any marketing done on this behalf would weaken the oil business. This is in contrast to a tech company, whose primary asset is in people and the innovative solutions they come up with. A company’s culture follows its primary asset: as Chevron protects the process of oil & gas refinement, so, too, does a Google or tech startup protect its people. To serve a startup means serving a company that is culturally innovative, as opposed to a company who is culturally commodtized. I prefer to be in the company that values innovation!
  3. People mean everything in a business — inside and out. Chevron Energy Solutions (and later, OpTerra Energy) did not compete on the newest technology, or cheapest price. We were sometimes outbid by as much as 50%! Instead, customers were satisfied by our work because we felt authentic, honest, and kind. Simply being kind within our business unit and to our customers was itself a competitive advantage. A company whose employees see it strictly as a professional relationship are at best cold, and at worst are severely harmful to the bottom line. I decided that whatever company I work for, contracted or full-time, it must value the authenticity and passion in people.
  4. Products have real impact, on real people. My favorite part is always seeing customers glow with happiness, after seeing a fully-developed energy program built at their school or city. It allowed me to appreciate how businesses deliver value beyond just the numbers we see.