Earlier this month, the Center for Energy Commerce and eight of its students traveled to the North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) - the largest exploration and production conference in the world - to learn about the energy industry, speak with companies in the field, and network with potential employers and fellow colleagues.
Kellie Estes, Director of the Center for Energy Commerce, and Terry McInturff, Energy, Economics and Law department chair, were the sponsors for the trip and selected Colleen Bradley, Ryan Hall, Danielle Jeter, Kevin Maddox, Brissa Rodriguez, Khaki Scrivner, Daniel Velilla and Miakel Williams as the students to represent the Center at the expo.
"It's an opportunity for us to promote the program and Rawls Energy Commerce students the largest gathering of E&P professionals in the world," Estes said of the event. "Going to NAPE allows us to network and visit with companies and alumni in the industry. That's a very valuable experience for both the program and our students."
Over the course of the three-day event, which lasted from Feb. 5-7, students had the opportunity to participate in icebreaker events to speak with the people and companies that came, learn the multiple facets of the business, work the Center's booth to talk to companies and potential employers about Rawls and its students, and have dinner with alumni. This extensive networking helped provide a sense of what working in the industry entails and how to better position the students for success.
"It's good for students to go to conferences like this to see what it's really all about and see how people connect," Danielle Jeter, a Marketing and Energy Commerce major who will graduate in May, said. "One of the things they stressed in our program is creating and maintaining relationships because these people end up working together in the industry, and NAPE allowed us to do that."
With over 17,000 participants in attendance, networking and knowing how to communicate with business remain vitally important for students. Because of this, students who attended NAPE felt Rawls prepared them to thrive in this environment.
"The Energy Commerce program, as a whole, has truly set its students up for success and given us knowledge we truly need. The things we learn in class apply directly to the industry," Miakel Williams, an Energy Commerce and Management Information Systems major who will graduate in December 2015, said. "The Career Management Center and the Energy Commerce professors fully prepared us to impress future employers and industry professionals, and, because this field is so competitive, it gives us a great advantage when we graduate."
NAPE hosts five shows a year and provides a marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of oil and gas prospects and producing properties via exhibit booths. To learn more about the trip or the Center for Energy Commerce, please contact Kellie Estes at firstname.lastname@example.org.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.