Since graduating from the Rawls College of Business in 2008, alumnus Jonathan Holmes, who earned with a bachelor's degree in Energy Commerce, has established himself in the oil and gas industry through flexibility and communication. Holmes currently serves as a Land Manager and Marketing Advisor for MorningStar Partners LP, where he manages various land assets throughout the domestic United States and handles daily oil and gas transactions for natural gas and oil sales. Prior to joining MorningStar in 2013, Jonathan held multiple positions for Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., working with the company's midcontinent business office in Dallas.
While pursuing his degree, Jonathan was President of the Energy Commerce Association. He remains actively involved with the Rawls College's Energy Commerce Program by serving on its Advisory Board for the past three years. In this role, Jonathan helps the faculty members with admissions and offers insight into curriculum changes, as to best reflect industry changes. Learn more about Jonathan's time at the Rawls College, how it helped him in his career, and what advice he would offer current Energy Commerce students in the Q&A below.
How have the skills you acquired with an Energy Commerce degree helped in your career?
First and foremost, I feel that the curriculum and the way the professors taught provided me with a solid foundation for both personal and professional growth. It provided a good base of academic and practical knowledge for the ever-changing oil and gas industry. Ultimately, my degree prepared me for the industry by presenting different ideas, offering exposure to things that are being utilized in the oil and gas industry, and honing my communication skills.
The faculty have excelled, both when I was in school and as I now view the program as an alumnus, in staying in touch with what is going on in the industry and how changes are impacting it. Whether it is increases in technology, changes in commodity prices, or an influx of adverse situations, the program has done a phenomenal job of finding a niche within the business and teaching what oil and gas companies need and expect from new graduates.
Which Energy Commerce courses best prepared you for post-graduate success?
The two Oil and Gas Law courses were the most challenging, but, at the same time, the most beneficial. Of all the textbooks purchased and notes taken throughout my time at Rawls, my Oil and Gas Law notes are the ones that I reference the most. Those two courses gave me the most beneficial and industry-relevant knowledge that I currently utilize in my career.
What advice would you give current Energy Commerce students who are about to enter the professional world?
The abilities to communicate, both written and verbal, and adapt to any situation are the most important skills an Energy Commerce student can have. In addition to the formal education they're getting throughout the curriculum, what's going to help them be successful is adapting to any situation and communicating results, both internally and externally. I've preached this to the interns I've had over the years, because I see how valuable those skills are in the oil and gas industry.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.