Spring Distinguished Leaders Series Focuses on Changing Nature of Oil Industry, How to Stand Out in Workplace
Students and alumni from the C. T. Bauer College of Business had the opportunity to network with energy leaders and receive insight about the unpredictable nature of the oil industry at this semester’s Distinguished Leaders Series.
Waterside Energy Director Terry McGill presented “Here We Go Again,” a discussion on the volatility of the oil and gas industry, during the March 23 event sponsored by AGL Resources and their Houston-based companies. McGill began his talk by addressing the fluctuating history of the oil industry, explaining why identifying patterns is often difficult.
As he explained, everything from the economy to the increasing interconnectedness offered by social media can affect oil prices. The availability of information to consumers and suppliers makes it easier for outside factors to influence prices but more complicated to predict these changes.
“It’s not just supply and demand. A perfect world is supply and demand, but we live in a very imperfect world,” McGill said. “We have politicians. We have regulators. We have price controls.”
In his remarks, McGill also highlighted points during his career that led him to where he is today. He spoke about his transition from a finance role at Enbridge to becoming senior vice president of engineering and operations for the company.
The offer, he said, led him to think about what his CEO had seen in him when considering him for the position. He then explained why young professionals should be asking themselves the same question.
“There are other things that your employers are going to look at,” McGill added. “When you get a call to do something completely different than what you’re doing, what must they see in you?”
According to McGill, there are several factors to keep in mind. Employees should work to maintain their credibility, become involved in company activities and look for ways to build relationships with coworkers and superiors. Another important factor, he said, is to never stop learning.
“How many of you go to a doctor who’s 50 years old and doesn’t know a single thing more about medicine than the day he graduated medical school? Or your accountant? Your mechanic? None of you,” McGill added. “So why would you think that would be a good idea for you?”
He also stressed the importance of leadership in the journey toward advancement. He advised listeners to build teams of people with different skill sets and to groom someone to someday take over their job.
“You never know when you’ll get the call to move into something new,” he added.
McGill closed his talk by encouraging attendees to focus on what makes them excited in their academic and professional journeys.
He said: “Be excited as you’re going through life and be excited as you’re going through school. That stands out.”
By Priscilla Aceves