Ellarie Sutton, an energy commerce major graduating in May 2021, shares about her experiences at Texas Tech and Rawls College.
Wherever life takes them after Rawls College — graduate studies or a new job — the spring class of 2021 reflects on the achievements made possible through a community that promotes academic success, encourages student involvement, and inspires excellence.
Ellarie Sutton, originally from Rocklin, California, will be graduating in May 2021 with a bachelor's degree in energy commerce, concentrations in energy transaction analysis and petroleum land management, a certificate in finance, and a minor in wind energy.
Beyond the classroom, Sutton was an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi, where she served as vice president of administration for a year, and the Energy Commerce Association, where she served as the organization's most recent president.
In the summer of 2019, Sutton interned with Occidental Petroleum and was offered an additional internship for the summer of 2020; however, unfortunately, due to COVID-19, her second internship was cancelled.
Why did you choose to major in energy commerce?
I knew I wanted to be in the business school, but nothing piqued my interest until I found energy commerce. I always found the oil and gas industry fascinating but knew very little about it being from California. When I found energy commerce, I chose it because I thought it would give me the best chance at finding a job in Texas after I graduated, which has been a goal of mine ever since my junior year of high school. I got lucky in that the energy industry is something I am truly passionate about and now know I want to spend my career in. I love how small and personable the major is; everyone knows each other, and the professors take time to get to know each student individually. I have met some of my closest friends through energy commerce and am excited to watch them start their careers.
What educational accomplishments are you most proud of?
In March, I was awarded this year's AAPL (American Association of Professional Landmen) Outstanding Graduate award which is given to one graduating senior each year from the AAPL's accredited university programs. Winning this award proved to me that I am in the right spot and I am doing what I truly love. I am so proud to represent Rawls and the energy commerce program in winning this award and am grateful for all of the support I've received during my time here.
During your time at Rawls College, who has made the greatest impact on you, and why?
Kellie Estes, the energy commerce director, has made a large impact on my time in college, and I don't think I would be where I am without her. Kellie works tirelessly to improve and bring opportunities to the program that wouldn't have otherwise come. She helped me navigate an industry I knew little about and supported me every step of the way. I am so grateful for her taking an interest in me and seeing my potential before I did. She let me have the freedom to explore new ideas as the president of the Energy Commerce Association while also providing insight and guidance to me and the other officers. She goes above and beyond her job description to care for each student and ensure their success.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I am going to work for Basic Energy Services as a corporate development analyst. I'm excited to use what I have learned in my classes and can't wait to continue learning as I grow and become more established in my career. I plan to stay involved with the energy commerce program and Rawls as much as possible and want to give back to the school that provided me with so many great opportunities.
What advice would you offer current or incoming Rawls College students?
I would tell students to find something you love doing and learning about as it makes college so much more enjoyable when you are studying something you are passionate about. I would also suggest getting involved as much as possible because there are truly great people in the Rawls, and meeting the people I now consider my close friends has been one of the best parts of college. You never know where a relationship will lead, and the college offers so many opportunities to connect with people. It's important to take advantage of those opportunities. Lastly, I would say don't take anything for granted and appreciate the little things. You'll look back and appreciate the time with classmates, learning from professors, and being in the Rawls more than you'd think.
What were some of your favorite things about living in Lubbock?
When I moved to Lubbock in 2017, I was overwhelmed with how nice and welcoming everyone was. Not only other students and people on campus but in the community too. I have tried to be involved both on and off campus as much as possible, and I have met people that have had a great deal of influence on my life. I love Lubbock because everyone has a sense of pride for the city and loves being here. The people are invested in the community and want to make it a great place to live. Also, the alumni I have met are true supporters of the university and love helping out current students. The camaraderie and support I have witnessed throughout Lubbock for Texas Tech is amazing and truly unique.
Why do you love Rawls College?
I love Rawls because of the people I've met and the experiences I've had while in the college. I've enjoyed every day of the last four years, and I'm so grateful to have spent time being a student in Rawls. The support and resources offered by the faculty are above and beyond what I could have imagined. All of my professors truly care about the well-being and success of their students and I have gotten to know many of them on a personal level. Also, the support from the CMC has been very influential during my time as a student. Everyone in the college wants to make it the best place possible and works every day to bring new opportunities to students. I'm excited to see the things the college does in the next few years, and I hope to be involved in its continued success.