Maguire Offers Unique Energy Experiences
February 5, 2010 10:42 PM
News about Student Activities
At the Maguire Energy Institute, students engage in a variety of activities that help prepare them in shaping tomorrow’s energy challenges. The MBA and BBA energy clubs are among the most active on campus, and they offer great value according to their members. Stuart Irby (MBA ’10), president of the MBA Energy Clubs says, “The MBA Energy Club provides students the opportunity to interface with the Texas energy community, learn about current trends and opportunities, and prepare our members for careers in the industry.”
In the past, the annual BBA and MBA energy club trips to Houston were held in the spring. This year, the trips were moved to the fall, which is a more opportunistic time for career and internship possibilities, according to Marsha Faram, MEI program manager with years of career development experience. Irby states that a foremost goal of the MBA Club is to ‘facilitate and assist in job and internship search for club members and to make SMU Cox the premier source of informed and educated MBA talent for the energy industry.’
In September, on the first day of their annual Houston trip, the BBA club visited Anadarko Petroleum. The visit to Anadarko, one of the largest independent oil and gas companies, was then followed by Baker Hughes Inteq, a major global drilling and production consulting and services firm. Given the stresses in the economy, Anadarko liaisons told the group that they would not be hiring interns this year for their rotational training program in finance. After the BBA club visit, however, they called shortly after and said they would be making a recruiting trip to our campus. One high note of the trip was the visit to Weiss Energy Hall at the Museum of Natural Sciences, with displays themed around energetics, petroleum geology, and oil exploration; a ‘Geovator’ takes visitors on a simulated trip to the bottom of a 7,285-foot well. Club vice-president Frances Cannon (BBA ’10) said that “learning the history of oil and gas production at the museum, touring the Baker Hughes processing plant, and meeting executives at one consulting company,” were highlights. Day two featured visits to CenterPoint Energy, ConocoPhillips, Worley Parsons, and Alamo Resources.
In October, the MBA energy club traveled five hours by bus to Houston, and then followed their own hand-picked itinerary. Students, with a diverse set of interests in the energy field, selected firms that represented a range of upstream and downstream activities. They first visited Merrill Lynch Petrie Parkman, a leader in asset divestitures and private company sales in the oil and gas industry. The group’s contact was Jonathan Sloan, of the SMU class of 2006. Following Merrill Lynch, the next visit of the afternoon, ConocoPhillips, was also initiated through SMU alumni contacts. Faram, who works closely with the students, notes that they fully appreciate the networking opportunities offer by MEI programs.
After an evening meal of Gulf Coast seafood, the following day was spent at the commodities trading and investment bank Barclays Capital Markets. The MBA club also visited Anadarko Petroleum and Cameron International. “Having access to senior executives who provided career advice and insights into the future of the industry” was very valuable according to Irby. “We engaged with industry leaders to learn about their business and discussed current issues facing the industry,” Irby recalled.
Another highlight this year for MEI was its participation in ExxonMobil’s Green Team. The Green Team is an eight-week summer initiative that provides internships and a study program for high school students. One day a week, Maguire developed and hosted an energy class; the students were challenged to conduct an energy audit at the site where they were working over the summer. With energy issues such a politicized subject, students learned that there was a disconnect between the stories in the media and the ‘real world’ energy challenges and trade-offs businesses face.
Closer to home, students toured Hunt Oil, TransAtlantic Petroleum, and BP Capital on one of the day trips in Dallas. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to attend the Frank Pitts Lecture Series events as well. Students’ interests—spanning oil and gas, engineering, smart grids, alternatives, and environment— are accommodated through educational seminars, site visits, and access to the Maguire staff’s resources and knowledge base.