Leslie (Smola) Smith ‘15

Leslie (Smola) Smith

BBA in Management Information Systems

Anadarko Petroleum; The Woodlands, TX
Business Information Technology Services Intern
June 2014 – August 2014

Professional Positions:
Anadarko Petroleum; The Woodlands, TX
ITS Analyst, Customer Support
September 2015 – June 2016

Anadarko Petroleum; The Woodlands, TX
ITS Administrator, Land Systems
July 2016 – July 2017

Parsley Energy; Austin, TX
Application Administrator
August 2017 – June 2018

Parsley Energy; Austin, TX
IT Supervisor, Business Systems
June 2018 – February 2021

ThoughtTrace; Austin, TX
Project Manager
February 2021 – Present

What extracurricular activities were you involved in at Texas A&M?  During my time as a student at Texas A&M, I was actively involved in Aggie Career Team (ACT) for four years. ACT is a student organization that serves as ambassadors for the Career Center and promotes/encourages career development and planning. Through my time in ACT, I served in many different leadership roles from mentor to president. ACT is a very well-rounded organization that provided me with many different opportunities and experiences. Some of my favorite college memories are related to the time I spent volunteering for ACT events.

Did you participate in an internship? I interned with Anadarko Petroleum in the summer of 2014. Each intern had a meaningful project that contributed to bottom-line profitability for the company. My project was to redesign the internal website for the Health, Safety, and Environmental group. I met with several subject matter experts and internal business owners to gather requirements and specifications in order to understand how the new website needed to function to best meet the end users’ needs. I also had a secondary project that gave me the opportunity to explore SAP and learn how it functions within an organization. You learn so many things during an internship that you just cannot find in a classroom.

What was your favorite MIS-related course at Texas A&M?  My favorite MIS class was Web Enabled Applications with Dr. Araujo. He was one of my favorite professors at Texas A&M because he challenges his students to think outside the box and be creative. Web Enabled Applications was not only interactive and engaging but also hands-on and practical.

What do you feel was the most beneficial course you took?   One of the most beneficial classes I took while at Texas A&M was ISYS 250 or Intro to Programming Logic. When I was in this class, I greatly disliked it because it was difficult and a big challenge for me. It was a valuable class in that I gained a foundation in programming and I understand the logic behind it. I feel confident that I can take what I learned and pick up other programming languages successfully. This class wasn’t about learning one programming language, but learning a skill set that you can apply time and time again.

Describe your career and what led you to finding your first professional job.   I started out my student career as an economics major at Texas A&M and quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. Switching to MIS was the best decision that I made while at A&M. For me, I really enjoy technology and I really like using technology to empower people and make their job easier or better. I love working at Anadarko because I love the culture, I enjoy the people I work with, and I get to see technology enable the business and people everyday.

Any specific advice you would give to current MIS students?  My advice to current MIS students is to take classes outside of your major. When I was a student, I took several classes in the sociology department, a human resources class, and a class in industrial distribution. I think that taking classes that are outside of your normal curriculum can be a valuable challenge in that different classes can provide new perspectives and broaden your horizon.