The Internet is full of articles meant to advise people on how to be successful. It can be hard to sift through it all and decide what is accurate, but Mays’ business honors students recently got the opportunity to hear it straight from the source: Monty Davis ’77, COO of Core Laboratories, an oil service company that advises oil exploration and production companies on the best way to get the most oil or gas out of reservoirs.

Davis, who received an accounting degree from Mays, already knows what it takes to be successful and how to give back. He and his wife contributed to the new Becky ’76 and Monty ’77 Davis Player Development Center near Kyle Field.

Monty Davis '77,  COO of Core Laboratories
Monty Davis ’77, COO of Core Laboratories

“I want you to be successful, and I want you to help others after you’ve been successful,” Davis said to students, referring to giving back to the university.

The ability to make decisions was one of the attributes for success Davis emphasized, along with being able to communicate clearly. “Be willing to express your opinion and have confidence. Nobody wants a yes-man working for them.”

Davis offered advice not only from the employee’s perspective, but also from the employer’s perspective.

“Always respect your employees,” he advised. “You never know where somebody else is going to end up. An employee today could become a customer tomorrow.”

Davis also touched on success in life, saying it starts with determining what is important to him. For him, family is number one. He showed students a small journal he keeps in his briefcase, in the back of which he keeps two lists of goals, one for his personal life for the year and one for business. He said he picked up the idea from a management class, and he encouraged students to do the same, and to track their performance against their goals.

“You’re not going to reach all of your goals,” Davis says. “If you do, you’re not setting good enough goals.”

Emily Neubert ’15, a business honors and MIS major, said she enjoyed hearing Davis’s insights about how to succeed in business, as well as in life. “He shared how being flexible and moving overseas helped advance his career quickly, so he recommended that we consider working abroad for a couple years.”

Monty Davis ’77’s top attributes for success

  • Intelligence
  • Education
  • Effort, ability to work under pressure
  • Initiative – “You can’t go to a job and just do what’s asked; that’s not enough.”
  • Discernment, ability to make decisions
  • Ability to express yourself
  • Results oriented – “It’s not a matter of getting work done, it’s a matter of working to achieve a result.”
  • Responsible, dependable
  • Integrity – “In business and in your life; if you don’t have integrity you’ll never get anywhere.”
About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.