Daniel J. Trapp '01

Analyst, PFC Energy

What language(s) did you study as part of the IECA major?:
German (and French, although this did not officially count toward my IECA degree requirements)

Please identify any majors or minors you completed besides the IECA major:

I majored in IECA and German and minored in History

Please list any graduate school programs you completed:
MA, 2008, Security Policy Studies, George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs

Please provide an overview of the kinds of duties you perform at this job.
I am an analyst and consultant for our Upstream and Gas group at PFC Energy, where my functional focus is the gas industry, researching and writing about gas companies. My primary regional focus areas are Europe and West Africa. Several types of companies acquire our reports and hire us for consulting work: energy companies, energy service companies, financial firms, US government agencies and foreign governments. I research and write about energy companies\' upstream portfolios, which includes oil and gas fields as well as the infrastructure built around these plays. I use industry publications, press releases, the internet and topical literature in my day-to-day research and connect regularly with contacts in the industry and in international affairs to round out my knowledge about the industry or regions around the world. While being a good writer is vital to my work, I find it particularly useful to have an understanding of how raw data affects companies, be that economic data that translates into price elasticity or financial modeling that helps me get a good idea of whether or not a company will likely move forward on a project.

What additional training (beyond your undergraduate degree) did you need for your current job?
Several of my colleagues recently finished their undergraduate degrees and have been able to transition easily to this work; they had internships that introduced them to the industry and focused on international affairs in their undergraduate careers. I had a more varied transition to my current position in a number of experiences that help me really understand the finer points of my day-to-day work: I worked with a household goods moving and relocations company in Germany (providing me knowledge of global shipping), the US State Department (helping me understand the processes involved in diplomacy and giving me contacts around the world) and a government contracting company, where I focused on security issues at the Coast Guard (helping me foster an understanding of US port security and how it affects investment decisions). After that, I got an MA in Security Policy Studies, where I focused on political risk and energy issues. While GW\'s program is largely geared toward people interested in working in more security-related fields with the government (DOD, CIA, State), I knew I was interested in how energy, finance and global affairs all came together. To that end, I added finance courses to my security studies courses, forming an understanding of how the two issues interact with one another. This has given me a key understanding of how energy projects develop in often troubled countries.

In your current position, do you use any of the information or skills you learned as an IECA major in particular (a foreign language, understanding of economics, politics, cross-cultural sensitivity, research, etc.)?
I use many of the skills I began to form at Valpo in my day-to-day work: I regularly read corporate reports and news in German, French, Spanish and Dutch; incorporate economic and political issues into regular analysis; and interact with colleagues from around the world.

If you have any additional news to share with your former professors or any insights/advice for IECA majors considering their career options, please provide it in the space below.

I'm happy to be a resource for any students interested in working in the energy industry or the government; my information is available via the Valpo Alumni Network.