Texas Tech University

First-gen professional thrives at Chevron

Arianna Flores

October 30, 2023

Heather Clayton will graduate from the Strategic Communication & Innovation program in December of 2023

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Heather Clayton began her professional career in the oil and gas industry as a key communicator.  But when Chevron Corporation bought her previous company, she became a significant part of the business.  Now, Clayton sought to receive her master's degree and chose Texas Tech's College of Media & Communication Strategic Communication & Innovation program to allow her to grow as a global and international communicator for Chevron Corporation.  

“Working at a company that has a global footprint has provided many opportunities for me to learn cultural communication, strategic communication and the opportunity to travel,” Clayton said. “I see firsthand how communications can impact communities, the economies and the way that they overall view oil and gas.”  

The first-generation college student completed her undergraduate degree with a concentration in communications at the University of Houston-Victoria in 2009.  Soon after, she began a series of ever-advancing global positions with Noble Energy.  Clayton stayed with Noble for 14 years before the company merged with Chevron.

Clayton, the current global communications advisor for oil, gas and products is using what she is learning in the Strategic Communication & Innovation program to lead Chevron across several channels.  

Heather Clayton visits the Leviathan platform, offshore in Israel in 2022. “Being able to complete this online 24/7 I mean, it's a blessing,” Clayton expressed. “I am grateful that they have this type of program for a nontraditional student, for someone like me, who's already mid-career. It has been a great experience. I really enjoyed it.”  

 Pictured: Heather Clayton traveled to the Leviathan platform, offshore in Israel during 2022 with Chevron Corporation.

Clayton started her master's degree in August 2022 and is nearly completed with her 30-hour degree plan, which includes seven required courses and three electives.  

“The university made it very easy to get involved with the advisors to learn more about the program, what classes I needed to take, and they really just made it really simple,” she said.  

Clayton said she does not have a particular favorite class because the variety of classes offered through the program served different purposes in growing academically and professionally.  

“All of my professors at Texas Tech have been absolutely wonderful. One of the classes that I have really enjoyed the most is Strategic Communication in a Global Environment,” Clayton said. “I would say that one because it's most applicable to my current role, managing a global exploration communications portfolio.”  

Heather Clayton will graduate in December of 2023 in front of her two children.

The mother of two children and full-time employee said the degree being fully online was perfect for her packed lifestyle.   

“I would highly recommend the program or any other Texas Tech's master's program for any other mid-career [professional] or even a new student that is just recently graduated and wants to go ahead and take their education further. It has been an amazing experience,” she added.  

Pictured: Heather Clayton with her two children. The family currently lives in Houston, Texas. 

Clayton will visit Lubbock for the first time in December 2023, walking across the United Supermarkets Arena in front of her two children and family, showing them with commitment and hard work that a higher education degree is obtainable.  

“I am so excited for them to see me walk in December,” Clayton said. “It's going to be really a defining moment to be able to watch me walk across stage in December.”