Mao is pictured outside Stanford's Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) building. (Photo credit: Ryan Cohen '19)
Building common ground
Victoria MaoBS ’17Energy Resources Engineering
“I’m excited to figure out how my skills and background will help me do good in the world, and I want to feel challenged, like there’s always something new, something I can learn from,” said Victoria Mao, ’17, who earned a bachelor’s in Energy Resources Engineering. “It’s not the most well-known major, but the reason I chose it is because I was interested in the more technical aspects of energy. I want to use engineering as this bridging language between policy, people, and industry.” Mao participated in an internship with City of Palo Alto Utilities after she graduated from Stanford, helping the utilities company set up a publicly available database to evaluate Palo Alto’s programs for energy efficiency.
In the long run, she hopes to find better ways of educating people about the realities of our energy system, and build common ground on highly politicized topics. “People say renewable energy is the next big thing, and it has more job growth than any other industry, but in some populations, that is not really an option. If there is some way to promote energy alternatives that is more beneficial, that’s what I hope for. I think the skills of an engineering background are essential to this conversation.”