From Beijing to Houston, Energy Execs Travel Across Ocean for Bauer Degree
A group of 35 senior executives from one of China’s largest energy companies are in Houston this week, traveling from Beijing to receive their Global Energy MBA degrees from the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business.
The students are employees of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and will join the nearly 200 alumni from Beijing oil and gas companies who have completed the program, which launched four years ago.
“At Bauer College, we offer an energy program portfolio that the business community can tap into, whether locally here in Houston, or across the globe in Beijing, as CNPC has done through our GEMBA program,” said Interim Dean Latha Ramchand. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the newest alumni of the Beijing GEMBA to the Bauer family.”
After completing the bulk of their coursework in Beijing with Bauer instructors, the group will finish up classes on campus this week before attending the Bauer College Commencement Ceremony on May 14, alongside graduating students from the college’s undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
The students were welcomed to campus on May 9 at a reception in their honor. Their visit also includes a tour of the UH campus and the opportunity to see landmarks in and around Houston.
“In a week’s time, you will graduate, and you will transition from students to alumni, and we are certainly proud to call you our alumni,” Ramchand said at the welcome luncheon. “I want you to know this is not the end, but a beginning of a new phase of a relationship with us.”
Bauer’s Global Energy MBA, also offered locally, is designed to prepare students to take on leadership positions in one of the world’s largest industries. Courses focus on energy project management, economics of the energy value chain, managing innovation and technology and strategies for the future.
“We’ve had some very significant members of China’s energy companies earn their MBAs through this program,” said Daniel Currie, assistant dean for graduate and professional programs and director of the GEMBA program.
Tremendous growth, coupled with a shortage of Western-style management expertise has driven demand for Bauer’s program overseas, he added.
“It’s not that they don’t have quality managers, but they don’t have enough of them to manage and envision all the growth going on,” he said.
The program benefits both students, many of whom go on to earn promotions after receiving their degrees, and faculty, who travel to Beijing to teach and bring their experiences back to the classroom.
“There are certain intangible benefits in engaging internationally that you can’t quantify. But our faculty benefit from getting a broader worldview while in China. They’re better off when they come back into Houston, and that has benefits that flow back into our classrooms,” Currie said.
The students praised the quality of the program during the welcome reception held in their honor, noting the dedication and expertise of the faculty who led classroom sessions in Beijing and those who will teach them this week in Houston.
“We feel that the Bauer College of Business has great professors who have real world knowledge, and they are dedicated to teaching everything they know to us,” said Sun Bo, vice president of CNPC. “All the professors left a deep impression by showing sincerity, dedication and friendship.”
By Jessica Navarro