TCU MBA opens up opportunity in an evolving energy industry

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Anyone who has worked in the energy industry for long enough knows that its markets are influenced by complex factors and that its ups and downs follow more than one cycle. Neeley alum Juan Meave (MBA, ’15), a financial analyst with Lonestar Resources, believes it’s precisely this unpredictability that drives innovation in the sector.

“The future of the energy market, and the industry itself, will be reshaped again, and that reshaping is going to come from an innovator who was told repeatedly that they couldn’t do what they set out to do,” he says.

TCU’s Energy MBA program itself grew out of a desire to innovate. Launched in early 2013, the program augments the integrated, managerial business perspective of a traditional degree with practices and tools specific to the energy industry. In addition to the Energy MBA, an evening program designed for working professionals, TCU offers full-time MBA students an option for an energy emphasis. Providing the combination of business skills and energy industry acumen, these programs position graduates to advance their careers and take on leadership challenges within an ever-evolving international business environment.

For example, energy in Texas has traditionally meant oil and gas. But in the 21st century, the energy industry has diversified at a breakneck pace. Luke Wittenbraker, a full-time MBA graduate who chose an energy emphasis, transitioned to a new role as marketing and sales director at Mactech On-Site, a field machining company operating in a variety of different industry sectors. Luke has a front-row seat to hourly fluctuations in energy commodity prices, but he also can bear witness to how new technologies are making wind, solar and other renewable energies a more sustainable market.

Russell English (MBA ’14) works as a senior landman in the acquisitions and divestitures group at XTO Energy. Every day he is involved in negotiations to lease oil and gas rights from landowners. The education he received at TCU, spotlighting all aspects of the energy industry, has provided Russell with a new appreciation for how we will always need reliable sources of energy.

“Current forecasts call for exponential growth in worldwide demand,” he says. “Being part of a global company, I see numerous opportunities for growth and optimization coming ahead.”

Luke says that his experience at TCU constantly exposed him to a multiplicity of perspectives. “Sitting side by side with other MBA students who are involved in some aspect of the energy market, you get a chance to learn from them and understand how these market swings affect the different roles at different organizations,” he says. “Everyone has some knowledge to share.”

For Russell, networking with fellow Energy MBA students, alumni and faculty — many of them accomplished executives in the industry — proved vital. “I would endorse the program as one that is integrated with local players who lead industry trends not only regionally, but domestically and abroad,” he says.

Networking helped Russell hone his communication and interpersonal skills, and he notes that the ROI has been impressive. “As soon as I completed my MBA, I think management began to take me more seriously and actively engage me in discussions,” he says. “My TCU experience has helped keep me from remaining stagnant or being boxed into a specific niche.”

Explore your prospects. Learn more about the Energy MBA track at TCU by visiting the Neeley School of Business website.

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