QUEST & Constellation: Thoughts on the Site Visit
In early November, a group of QUEST students had the opportunity to visit Constellation in Baltimore and get a tour of the facility while talking to some higher ups in the organizations. The following is a short recap from some students who were on the visit and their thoughts about the entire experience.
How did this visit change your opinion of Constellation?
Jeff Zhao (Q28)
I originally thought that Constellation was just an energy provider to commercial homes, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Constellation is actually the nation’s largest supplier of electricity to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. A huge part of their operations takes place in their trading group (where Ricky Wilson, our QUEST Alumni Board Chair works) that hedges against price fluctuations by selling and buying units of megawatts/hr. The parent company, Exelon, is the nation’s largest power generation company as well! This site visit really opened my eyes to understanding the size of Constellation and its parent company Exelon.
Brian Yuwen (Q28)
I didn’t really know what Constellation did prior to the visit. I knew that they provided energy, but I learned that they aren’t just an energy provider—they also provide risk assessments about the energy industry so that Exelon’s energy providers know when and where to supply energy. Also, the office is really nice.
Michael Vetter (Q28)
I originally thought that Constellation was just an energy producer and supplier. However, I did not realize that the company is only focused on wholesale and retail. Many of their employees just focus on trading and finance, which fit my career goals more closely. I now see them as a possible future employer.
How do you think the QUEST tools and mission align with the work that Constellation does?
QUEST’s dedication to quality really mirrors Constellation’s mission to ensure quality and reliable energy to customers. The most prominent QUEST tool that I saw was “data-backed recommendations” where the trading group takes into account the root causes that affect electricity prices and aggregates large amounts of data to really be able to accurately send competitive prices to its consumers.
Constellation’s work goes towards providing service, results, and recommendations for Exelon, which aligns with QUEST principles.
Constellation is constantly working in multi-disciplinary teams and combines quantifiable data with qualitative information as employees know how to speak both technically and conversationally with each other and with customers. Thus, they work very similarly to QUEST. Also, when they acquire new companies, they usually re-design their systems, which is one of the three pillars of QUEST.
In what ways do you think Constellation is an innovator in comparison to other players in their industry?
Constellation has a smaller “VC” group dedicated to up-and-coming companies in the energy business. We weren’t able to meet many people from that team, so I wasn’t able to really gleam anything else from that.
I don’t know much about Constellation’s competition, but their trading floor is pretty neat. I think the general atmosphere of the office implies that they care about moving toward more collaborative spaces and innovative practices. I’m pretty sure we saw a group conducting a stand-up meeting when we got in that morning.
Constellation’s main source of innovation comes from its acquisitions. That is why their main innovative unit is their venture capital department that searches for disruptive start-ups that will change their systems and business model.
What other strategies do you think Constellation could employ to remain a leader in their industry?
In order to remain competitive and continue to innovate, Constellation should continue to look into new energy generation methods outside coal and fossil fuels such as wind and solar as the world continues to move in a “greener” direction.
Thanks to Ricky Wilson (Q6) and Constellation for hosting QUEST!