Author: Nikhil Ramakrishnan

Employee Spotlight on Jocelyn Kleiger, Software Engineer

“With the work that I do, it’s a means to an end for something that’s much greater than myself and will constantly be moving in a positive direction.”

“I’m from Long Island, around the North Shore area. My sister and my dad would say that I was a cute kid, and my brother would say that I was headstrong and went against the system. Then kids I actually went to school with thought I was weird. So it really depends on who you ask. 

“I was a total literature and humanities nerd in high school, and I didn’t really get into STEM too much until my junior year. I was part of the literature magazine and the school newspaper, and I did advanced photography in high school. When I was a senior, I took AP Physics and it wasn’t until I took that class that I ended up joining robotics and getting more into engineering. Then I went to a marine engineering college because I grew up near the ocean and really liked offshore wind energy at the time. They were just starting to talk about the Block Island wind project when I was a senior in high school, so that’s kind of why my career went the way that it did.

“Software engineering was actually pretty far down the list of things on my mind. No one ever really thought I’d be an engineer. I was supposed to be a lawyer. I had an aversion to software in general, especially because the only formal coding experience I had was one C++ class when I was an undergrad. It was me and five other kids and they all knew a coding language beforehand, so the class went very fast. It was humbling, to say the least. I’m still in touch with everyone from that class, and I reached out to them when I got the job at REsurety saying ‘Hey, guess who’s a software engineer now?’ 

“I’m a little bit of a hippie. I’m Jewish, and one of the tenets of Judaism is tikkun olam, which means ‘world repairs’, so I wanted that in whatever career I picked. So I decided to go into a career that would address climate change because that’s what had the most effect on the greatest number of people.

“The first work that I did in clean energy was for a wave energy converter firm who was working on making their device cost competitive with the grid in Australia. You can’t depend on politics or goodwill to bring about the clean energy transition, because a) it won’t happen fast enough and b) that’s very easily reversible and subject to human whims. But if you can make it cost competitive, then you’re fair game. So I started doing some research on least cost grid optimization for decarbonization, using primarily Python and data science techniques. I wasn’t really doing much software then but that’s what got me interested in the economic side of it. When I found out about REsurety, I thought that it was a perfect fit for me, and the more I talked to people at REsurety it seemed like a really great culture. I really feel like I’m simultaneously challenged and supported.

“What excites me about the energy industry now is that there’s much less existential dread in it than there used to be. The reason why I went into clean energy instead of climate change research was because I don’t have it in me to constantly read about the climate crisis and have that be my entire life, because that just sounds like an anxiety attack waiting to happen. With the work that I do, it’s a means to an end for something that’s much greater than myself and will constantly be moving in a positive direction.

“I like to read, and I’m in a book club. I cook a decent amount and I’ve been getting a little bit more experimental now that I actually have free time. I was a vegan for a while, and then I was vegetarian. I usually cook a lot of stews, because they’re just very cozy and it’s also very hard to mess them up. When I’m feeling jazzy I’ll make something with a little more effort like baklava or spanakopita.

“I hike and climb when I can. I went climbing yesterday. I’m not good at it, and I like to use the fact that I’m under five feet tall as an excuse for that. I also like to hang out with my dog. Hopefully next year, he’ll be in mountain shape so I won’t have to leave him at home.”

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Employee Spotlight on Morgan O’Connell, Revenue Operations Associate

“I love music and food, which relates to my love of cooking. But then when I’m able to grab some time for painting, that’s a different kind of vibe.”

“I grew up around Boston on the South Shore. I would say as a kid, I loved learning and meeting new people. I was kind of an outgoing nerd. I’m a painter, so I would have my time to paint, but then I always wanted to learn something new at school and be a part of different clubs and groups. 

“I went to Lafayette College down in Pennsylvania, and I was an art and environmental studies double major there. Honestly, energy and renewables wasn’t something I had on my mind until college. I took an environmental geology class and the professor was inspiring and brilliant. I could tell that she believed in her students’ ability to make an impact. So that environmental geology class was the reason I switched to an environmental studies major.

“I got to do a thesis that combined art and environmental studies, which was the first of its kind. I did a lot of research into plastic pollution in local water systems and how it affects the environment and everything downstream. Then I wrote a paper and created artwork based on the learnings from my research. 

“I used to work at a large energy management company, and REsurety is exactly what I was looking for in the sense of pivoting completely to renewable energy. Also, working at a smaller company allows you to make a bigger impact and collaborate in ways that are not possible at a large company, and I’ve been enjoying that. I feel like everybody is more willing to adapt as well. Everyone is very interested in market changes and new legislation that affects our business and it should be talked about and worked through.

“REsurety is such a collaborative company. You might be in your silo at times, but the second you step out for happy hour or a bagel morning, that is when the magic happens. The conversations are really enlightening and I’m learning a lot.

“I’m most interested in energy storage as a technology and seeing how it advances. We saw that through solar and how big investments in solar can drive down prices and storage is now not attainable for most companies price-wise. So I think I’m most excited to see where storage goes. 

“When I’m not working, I’m probably hanging out with friends. I love music and food, which relates to my love of cooking. But then when I’m able to grab some time for painting, that’s a different kind of vibe.

“Also, I just joined the Young Professionals Board for a nonprofit called Friends of the Children, which is a different community outside of energy and art. They provide one-on-one mentorship to kids throughout their entire childhood who might not otherwise have that support or access to resources. 

“It’s related to the same kind of thing I did in college. For all four years I ran a volunteer program that was cooking for 30 women and children at a non-emergency shelter. That was on a weekly basis and when we made the food we got to hang out and eat with the residents. I learned a lot from women who have been through so many systemic obstacles and I felt like I’ve been in my own little bubble here in Boston, so it’s been good to be a part of a new community.”

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