The following is an excerpt from a blog post by Emily Haddad, which appears in its entirety in the online edition of Booth's student newspaper Chicago Business. Emily is a joint student at Booth and the Harris School of Public Policy. She interned this past summer at a Chicago-based impact investing PE firm and a Denver-based healthcare technology startup.

Last month, I spent seven days in India as part of a new Booth class—the Global Social Impact Practicum. The Global Social Impact Practicum is led by Booth's Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) and supported by the Tata Trusts, India largest philanthropic organization.

Beginning with the trip to India in December, my fellow students and I will be working with the Trusts throughout Winter Quarter on a consulting project exploring how bamboo can be used in rural India as a form of biomass to generate renewable, clean energy and to create jobs.

I applied to the class this fall with the aim of deepening my consulting and international development experience and gaining exposure to the clean energy sector. As a joint student at Booth and the Harris School of Public Policy, I also was curious to see how my Booth peers, many of whom have primarily private sector backgrounds, would approach the policy issues inherent in encouraging the growth of a new market—in this case, bamboo-based sustainable energy.

As I packed for the trip, I thought about what I might learn. I hoped to return with a better understanding of renewable energy in India and of the country’s unique development challenges, both of which were new to me.