Texas Tech University

Alumni Spotlight: Alex DeRossi

Chelsea Grunden

Alex DeRossi

Alex DeRossi graduated from the Rawls College in May with a B.B.A. in Energy Commerce and a concentration in Energy Transaction Analysis. His concentration focused on the trading, supply and analytics disciplines of the energy industry. DeRossi works in the Graduate Development Program for North American Gas & Power (NAGP) in Houston. The GDP program is a three-year, full-time program for college graduates to participate in three different roles within BP's trading organization, Integrated Supply & Trading (IST). DeRossi's current role is in valuations and central commodity risk, where he supports all of the traded commodities: natural gas, power and natural gas liquids. Read more about his career and how the Rawls College helped him succeed in the Q&A below.

Why did you choose Texas Tech and the Rawls College in particular?

Texas Tech gives students incredible opportunities to not only be successful in the classroom, but outside the classroom as well. Ninety percent of your college career is outside of the classroom, and it is important to me that the Texas Tech student experience involves not only a strong classroom experience, but also opportunities outside the classroom. I chose Texas Tech because its culture and environment is apparent the moment you step on campus. In the Rawls College it is even more apparent. Stepping into the college, you see the SMIF ticker board flashing, students racing to class, groups studying, hiring fairs, interviews, student organizations and, in an energy commerce student's case, trying to open a crude oil futures position before the Energy Markets class starts. The environment is exciting, electric and fascinating.

Why did you decide to pursue energy commerce?

I originally declared biology as my major, but I quickly found out anatomical memorization was not my forte. At the time, I was in a leadership position in my fraternity, SigEp. Since I was enjoying the finance, people management and operations aspects of "running a business," i.e. a fraternity, alumni of the organization referred me to a few individuals in the Rawls College. As I was exploring the different majors, I asked what the most competitive program in the Rawls is, and the rest is history.

What did you love most about being a Rawls College student?

The faculty, hands down, 100 percent. The Energy Commerce program has grown exponentially over the years, but it is small enough that the students know the professors and they are able to have a relationship. I think the relationships with students are invaluable, but it goes above and beyond that: the Energy Commerce faculty and staff really take personalized care of you. Not only do they help prepare you for the energy industry, but ask you to own your education, challenge the norm and really immerse yourself in the energy industry. For me, being able to immerse myself in trading simulations is what got me excited about my career in energy trading.

How did the Rawls College prepare you for your career?

To be honest, nothing truly prepares you for BP's trade floor; however, the Rawls gave me confidence and expanded my critical thinking abilities. The Energy Commerce program set me up for success and gave me the knowledge, analytical skills and industry-specific terminology to succeed in my career. The program is taught by industry professionals from all over the energy sector, teaching us real-world applications. In the energy markets class, you learn how to trade crude oil from a former BP crude oil trader. In land management classes, you learn from former landmen and attorneys. What brought me the most value was learning and interacting with proven and successful industry professionals.

Do you have any advice for students or recent graduates looking for jobs in your field?

First, truly immerse yourself in your area of study. Whether it is energy commerce, accounting, MIS, finance, etc., know the industry trends, know the terminology and know acronyms. Walk the walk and talk the talk – especially if you are going into energy. Second, always be networking. Networking is one of the most important skills in the business world. Thirdly, use all the resources available to you at Texas Tech and the Rawls College. If you don't know what resources are available, just ask. Finally, once you land that dream opportunity, go the extra mile. Work late and show up early. Learn the internal systems and applications. Volunteer and participate in service events. Bear the Texas Tech banner and be the best at what you do!