Kelli Levey Reynolds, September 7th, 2016
The Petroleum Ventures Program has kicked off its inaugural semester with 25 petroleum engineering students, several finance students and a 23-member advisory board.
The interdisciplinary partnership between the business and engineering schools at Texas A&M University started with a $12 million gift from Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, who gave $6 million each to the finance (FINC) and petroleum engineering (PETE) departments. The petroleum engineering graduates own WildHorse Resources in Houston. Their goal is to teach finance skills to PETE students and petroleum engineering skills to FINC students.
“I’d say we are off to a good start, and the advisory board members are excited at what is to come,” said Detlef Hallermann, a Mays Business School clinical professor who oversees the program. “What I am hearing from the board is that it’s been a long time coming. We’ve made the first step. Now the board is going to help us look at what we are doing and provide direction for where we wish to go next.”
Students wrote multiple analytical analyses, reviewed by advisory board members prior to being accepted into the program. Approximately 100 students attended the informational sessions and more than 60 students applied.
Princewill Imouokhome, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s in finance, said he was “immediately both interested and curious” about the program and the current state of the oil and gas industry’s impact on it. He applied because he wants to be involved in the energy industry.
“I saw an opportunity to gain both a competitive edge and to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “In my time in the program I have already seen a change in the way I see many things that a contingent upon the energy industry. I hope to gain knowledge, new perspectives on problem solving, and exposure to situations that force me to grow as an individual and a professional.”
Bahr said he is happy to hear about the popularity of the program. “I’m thrilled to welcome the inaugural class of business and engineering students into the Petroleum Ventures Program, and excited these students have made a significant commitment to their future careers in the energy business,” he said.
When fully implemented, the program will offer a Certificate in Petroleum Ventures for both PETE and FINC students. Hallermann is also director of the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) and the Reliant Trading Center.
The program will have a profound impact on Mays at many levels, Hallermann said. It provides :
- Increased visibility of Mays programs
- Integration of engineering students in Mays undergraduate classes – mostly in finance, but also in other disciplines
- Strategic importance
- Groundwork for other programs
The advisory board’s first meeting is Oct. 6-7.