Distinguished Rawls alumnus and current President and CEO of Five States Energy Arthur N. Budge offered his insights and advice for students of the Rawls Business Leadership Program. During a luncheon in the Dean's Suite, students were encouraged to ask Budge questions about the oil and gas industry, his success and for advice as to ways they can succeed in the industry.
Budge, who graduated with a bachelor's in finance in 1977 and a master's in finance in 1979, detailed his background in both the academic field, where he learned the industry, and the professional field, where he applied the knowledge he obtained. Budge stressed the importance of education and how the Rawls College of Business provided him with the tools he needed to succeed in the oil and gas industry.
"I hope that speaking to students helps to give them some understanding of the applicability of what they're learning in school and what value it will provide to them as they go into their careers," Budge said. "My education proved vital to my current success. I will say, too, that the Rawls College is as competitive with any other business school. I feel we pump out some of the best students into the industry."
Budge also spoke about the industry's current state, both opportunities and problems, and the direction the industry is heading. His expertise and personal success stories were highly regarded by those who attended and helped the students understand what they need to do to replicate Budge's impact.
"Having distinguished alumni such as Arthur Budge speak to us gives us a firsthand perspective of what employers value when looking to hire a student fresh out of college," Joshua Neel, a finance major who will graduate in May 2015, said. "He pointed out specifically that we need to maintain strong writing skills and enhance other areas outside of class. It's amazing and inspiring to hear his perspective of how he was able to merge finance and energy commerce."
Alex Lyon, a marketing supply chain major who will graduate in May 2015, agreed with Neel and stressed the importance of alumni speaking to current students, as it provides an uplifting insight into what can happen when students take the initiative to learn as much as they can.
"It's refreshing and encouraging to have successful alumni talk to us and show us what we're working toward," she said. "Sometimes it's hard to focus on the end goal when you're so entrenched in classes. Mr. Budge helped us see what we can become."
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.