With more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, Philip Choyce ’89 has held a variety of different positions as his career progressed. While speaking with a group of Business Honors students at Mays Business School, he encouraged them to learn how to adapt as
their goals and careers evolve. Choyce is the senior vice president and chief financial officer of Independence Contract Drilling, an integrated onshore drilling services provider, which he cofounded in 2011.
Before joining Independence Contract Drilling, he held positions at Grant
Prideco, Fulbright & Jaworski and Ernst & Young. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
He said the connections he made at his first places of employment,are still benefitting him today. “Maintaining professionalism throughout the duration of your employment and afterwards is a very important skill,” he said. “Your network of connections is everything.”
Ryan Patrick ’16, a Business Honors and finance major, said Choyce recommended to the students that they select a job right out of college where they can learn the most under the right mentors. “He told us that the first five years of our career lay building blocks for the next 20,” Patrick said.
Choyce shared personal stories with the students that explained the importance of hard work. “The first 10 years of your career will be the hardest, but they will also be the most important,” he said.
He encouraged students to honestly evaluate their skill sets. “It’s okay not to be the best at something,” he said. “If that is the case, find someone else who is—and learn from them.”
Chris Weisberg ’18, a Business Honors major, said he appreciated how Choyce spoke of his experiences. “He said even when one isn’t sure of what they particularly want to do in life, doors of opportunity will open and it is important to take these opportunities in order to gain experience and wisdom,” he said. “Eventually, that experience and wisdom will open up even more opportunities.”
In closing, Choyce referenced sports to explain how he has used his skill set to fill a variety of different roles throughout his career. “A company’s success is based off of team work,” he said. “You can’t always play quarterback. Sometimes you need to sit back, because the team needs a wide receiver.”