Miles Braxton went to UVA specifically to study in the lab of Mool Gupta, the Father of Photonics. He should have been a prime candidate for the booming solar industry: a black engineer, young and ambitious, ready to put his boots on and earn his stripes. Then, he couldn’t find a job. Anywhere. He now leads Risk Management for the Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group, and is Co-founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships at the BlackOak Collective. Not a bad turn turn in his luck, but as you’ll hear today, it had more to do with persistence, patience and a clear vision for what he wanted to accomplish along the way. He also had some really great mentors along the way.

(You can Read More about Miles’ story over on the blog post)

This episode covers his remarkable journey with the following defining themes marking his rise to success:

— Initiative (fearless follow-up and creating opportunities for himself instead of waiting for them to come to him) 

— Redirection (envisioning and pursuing his ideal career path yet also embracing the evolution of what that became) 

— Altruism (not solely preoccupied with his own success but enlightened enough to pour back into his community as well)

We also covered the co-founding of his current passion project, The Black Oak Collective, and their work in providing job opportunities, networks, and other resources for people of color that want to get involved with sustainability. We discussed all of this, and more so, prepare yourself for another hugely inspiring Suncast episode!

Tune in and tune up your skills!