Student Spotlight: Zachary Augustine, Energy Commerce
By: Darla Vasquez
Zachary Augustine is a senior energy commerce major on track to graduate with his bachelor's degree in May 2017. Throughout his time at Texas Tech, he has earned a spot on the President's List five consecutive semesters in a row, in addition to making the Dean's List once. Within the energy commerce program, Zachary is following the energy transaction analysis track. With the skills and knowledge he has acquired from the Rawls College, he has successfully completed courses abroad, as well as an internship with ORIX USA in Dallas. Learn how Zachary's experiences have prepared him for life after graduation in the Q&A below.
What were your responsibilities at ORIX USA?
I primarily researched macro commodity trends, as well as mergers and acquisitions trends in the energy sector, then incorporated that research into written commentary for the ORIX Energy team. I also assisted in the underwriting of new debt and equity investments through cash flow modeling and transaction specific research. I worked extensively with the ORIX Energy team to ensure an appropriate and accurate evaluation of potential investment opportunities.
How did the skills and knowledge gained at the Rawls College transfer to your internship?
My Energy Finance and Energy Markets classes played a crucial role in my success at ORIX USA. Because of my educational foundation, I understood the basis of the energy finance industry. I was able to apply my knowledge of the macro oil and gas industry to specific investment opportunities and evaluate those opportunities appropriately.
What opportunities did the Rawls College provide to help you obtain your internship?
ORIX reached out to the Energy Commerce department looking for an intern with an educational background in energy finance. I applied for the internship and was called for an interview within the week. Without contact with the Energy Commerce department at the Rawls College, I would have never even known about the opportunity at ORIX.
What did you enjoy most about working at ORIX?
Working alongside the ORIX Energy team was incredibly rewarding. The OEC team was the most professional business group I have ever witnessed. While in various meetings with the team, I could easily tell how respected and appreciated each person's opinions were. I was fortunate enough to sit in and contribute to various meetings throughout the summer. While with the team, I was treated as a full time member. My opinion, though sometimes not entirely correct, was always respected and acknowledged.
What advice would you offer students looking to obtain an internship or full-time job?
Find a career that really suits your interests. I have a real passion for energy markets and energy finance. It simply fascinates me. Therefore, my time at ORIX was truly great.
I think it is also important to work for a challenging and dynamic company. So often people get stuck in the "hamster wheel" of life. Every day is the same and routinized. I believe routine breeds complacency and boredom. Rawls students are very fortunate to have the opportunities to work for dynamic companies that will challenge their employees and fight complacency.
What study abroad programs did you participate in?
I participated in the Global Energy Perspectives trip this past summer and had the pleasure of visiting London, Paris, Heidelberg, Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna.
Why did you want to study abroad?
I believe all Energy Commerce majors should study abroad. The energy industry is such a global and complex industry and knowledge of that global component is very important. For example, something that occurs in West Africa could easily affect the price of crude oil in the United States. It was important for me to see the global interaction in person. In my specific program, we learned to appreciate the integral nature of the oil and gas industry across the globe.
How did the skills and knowledge you gained at the Rawls College prepare you to study abroad?
My Energy Industry Fundamentals class was the most useful in preparing me for my trip oversees. The energy industry draws up emotion unlike any other industry in the world. People are often very emotional and opinionated when it comes to the environment and the role of fossil fuels in our lives. The fundamentals class set the foundation for our experience abroad. We learned of all the various bureaucratic components that can dictate energy policy. Once abroad, we were able to see those policies at work first-hand and in real time. One night while at a London pub, a few of us ran into some college students from the University College - London. As the night progressed, we began to talk about our thoughts on the energy industry. They were very pro green energy and were somewhat outraged that we could be such proponents of oil and gas. It was a civil and often fun discussion, but it highlighted the emotional opinions that so often go along with energy as a whole.
How will your study abroad experiences help you in the future?
My study abroad experience is a great discussion topics while interviewing for jobs. Energy companies have a great appreciation and need for employees that understand the global nature of the business. With my experience oversees, I will meet the growing needs of those companies.
What was your favorite part of studying abroad?
Touring the nuclear power plant facility in France was my favorite energy related experience while abroad. To see the infrastructure in place at that facility was simply overwhelming. It made me question why nuclear power is not utilized in the United States, a supposed global leader in the fight against climate change, while it works so well in the France.
What advice do you have for students interested in taking coursework abroad?
Get out and see the cities - that's why you're there. I learned more from experiencing the culture of cities such as London and Paris than I ever could in a lecture. Your time abroad is meant for being abroad. Appreciate and take advantage of the opportunity in front of you.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.
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