Bror Magnus Sand '23

Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Major: Economics

As a self-avowed "adventurous type," Bror Magnus Sundseth Sand '23 says that as a Norwegian, you are "born with skis on your feet." An avid runner, biker, skier, and hiker, Bror brought his strong affinity for the outdoors to Dartmouth all the way from his hometown of Oslo, Norway, joining the vibrant community of international students at Dartmouth. 

Finding a Home at Dartmouth

After high school, Bror spent a gap year reflecting on whether he wanted to stay in his home country or venture abroad for college. Eventually, he decided that he "wanted to explore." Visiting campus had already convinced him of Dartmouth's proximity to nature and allowed him to learn more about the College's Economics major, a course of study he already knew he wanted to pursue. So, after receiving his acceptance, he says that deciding to come to Hanover "was a no brainer."

During his gap year, Bror worked at a venture capital firm in Oslo. While there, he connected with an employee at Hafslund, a major Norwegian renewable energy company. That connection led to Bror spending the summer after his freshman year at the company. At Hafslund, Bror worked on financial modeling of potential new projects in the solar, wind, battery, and hydrogen spaces. He says that the experience was integral to gaining broad exposure to a variety of different vertical markets in the renewable energy sector, which sparked his current passions for renewable energy infrastructure and cleantech. It also inspired him to add an Environmental Science minor to his Economics major.

Bror spent his first two years at Dartmouth involved with finance and economic extracurricular groups, such as the Dartmouth Investment and Philanthropy Program and the Dartmouth Finance Society. But after the COVID-19 pandemic set in, Bror took the spring term off, as made possible by Dartmouth's unique D-Plan quarter system. During this term off he worked as an investment banking intern on the renewable energy and cleantech desk at Clarksons Securities. In his next professional opportunity, Bror worked at Norvestor, a private equity firm that he says strongly considers Environmental, Social, and Governance factors when investing, a major interest of his. Bror continued pursuing professional experiences in energy with an internship at global consulting firm McKinsey, where two of his three summer projects were related to sustainability, including one aimed at expanding EV charging systems. 

Engaging with the Irving Institute and the Upper Valley Community

Bror's energy experiences at Dartmouth exemplify his charisma and love of working with others. For his Environmental Science minor, he took an environmental policy class where he and a team of classmates served as an outside adviser to the Hanover Improvement Society. The Society is interested in installing solar power at Campion Rink, a public indoor ice skating rink near Dartmouth's campus. 

With his group members, Bror conducted site visits and rigorous data analyses to perform due diligence on the prospect of installing solar power at the rink. By the end of the project, Bror and his team delivered a report to the Hanover Improvement Society assessing the different incentives for solar power. These included the carbon dioxide emissions that would be avoided and the cost savings accrued, as well as the opportunity to sell back to the grid excess power generated by the solar panels when the rink is closed during the summer, a process known as net metering. Although Dartmouth students often get involved in causes they care about, such as volunteering for local organizations, Bror and his team have done so in a way that matched skillsets learned in the classroom with the immediate and real-world needs of the broader Upper Valley community.

Bror was also a participant in TuckLAB: Energy during the fall of his senior year. The program is an Irving Institute partnership with the Revers Center for Energy, Sustainability, and Innovation at the Tuck School of Business and Tuck Undergraduate Programs Office. The program is targeted at juniors and seniors, and Bror insists even "if you have even a remote interest in environmental studies, do TuckLAB:Energy." 

Over the course of six weeks during the fall term, the students met for one or both weekend days to engage with instructors and peers in an intersectional, multifaceted introduction to the complexities of modern energy systems. Calling all the lectures "incredible" and the program "extremely collaborative," Bror recalls that TuckLAB was a "great introduction to the world of environmental studies and renewable energy." The program, he remembers fondly, tackles "the financing aspect, the policy aspect, and the technology aspect," so it "covers pretty much all the bases that you need." 

Although Bror most enjoyed the finance topics, he really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the policy arenas related to energy. "They covered that very well," he says, in particular, "that thinking around how you can unlock value through different incentive programs, and also this whole process of getting legislation through, that was really interesting to learn about." And when it came to balancing the extracurricular program with the academic rigors of a Dartmouth ten-week term, Bror says with confidence that "it isn't that much extra work outside of the classroom."

Looking Ahead to Making a Global Impact

After graduating from Dartmouth, Bror will be returning to McKinsey as a Business Analyst consultant, taking with him many of the skills he accrued during his engagement with the Irving Institute and in his major and minor coursework. For his senior thesis, which was inspired by a research question he initially formulated in Econ 66: Topics in Money and Finance, Bror examined whether a company's high Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) rating translates to higher stock returns. He found that it does, and stocks with higher social and environmental scores tend to be more sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates. But he also cautions that the increased emphasis on ESG may incentivize companies to report fraudulent numbers to receive a higher score. He asserts that we need a "more robust framework in order to evaluate ESG factors, because if not, what is the point of them? Then we don't reach the goal of having a more sustainable future if people or companies are just reporting false numbers." Bror's thesis earned the Economics Department's high honors.

As he looks ahead to joining McKinsey, Bror hopes to work on as many sustainability projects as he can, and remain in the renewable energy space throughout his career. For instance, Bror proclaims himself "very pro-hydrogen." He sees it as a technology that may offer solutions to issues like grid intermittency, a concern with renewable sources like solar and wind that are not constantly available. 

Bror also has a clear vision of his role in the energy transition. Invoking the energy triangle of technology, policy, and economics, Bror says that he feels that his strengths and experiences have best prepared him to contribute to the economics side. He envisions a career as "a facilitator for funding of new technologies and projects," because, he explains, it's circular. If technological progress is the key to financially viable projects, there needs to be enough interest in these projects–in part driven by financial viability–to generate the requisite technological progress.

Looking ahead, Bror aspires to return to the U.S. in two years to pursue an MBA. Alluding back to his adventurous side, he also says that he hopes to travel, in part inspired by the potential to work for McKinsey around the world. After a recent trip to visit a friend's home in the Philippines, Bror has now set his sights on two continents he has yet to visit, Africa and South America, aiming for a global footprint in a truly global industry.