Monday, September 21, 2015

Gratitude and Growth

Weld Central, Fort Lupton, Frederick, Longmont, Downtown Denver, Green Valley Ranch.
Industry Partners, High School Students, Alumni, Board Members and PLRM students.

This last week was truly a journey of appreciation and affirmation. So often we get so caught up in the day-to-day of what we do that the big picture is murky at best. After a week on the road I have been reminded of the following:

You've Come A Long Way

As I sat in the guidance counselor's offices and high school cafeterias in Weld County I was reminded that not too long along it was you that walked those halls.  From the awkward high school junior that has difficulty making eye contact to the wide eyed senior that sees nothing by possibilities, there is one commonality they are young and a blank slate.  

PLRM asks and requires a great to deal of our students. We do this knowing it is what industry demands. As faculty and PLRM Leadership it is our job to listen to the challenges, concerns and opportunities of our industry friends and translate those needs into our courses and advising. After years of teaching, coaching and mentoring here is what I know:
  • Opportunities for growth. You have consistently received constructive feedback with grace, openness and dignity. Thank you.
  • Trade-offs. You have taken our feedback, matured and grown up in short order, often at the expense of the other college shenanigans that you could be engaging in. Thank you.
Industry is taking notice and is impressed with your humility and gratitude. Never lose sight of this. It is our differentiator. 

Small Can Be Mighty

I clocked many hours with young land professional that have undying allegiance to their AAPL accredited alma-mater and walked away with several thoughts:
  • What we lack in funding we make up for in heart and commitment. All of the work we do outside the classroom on professional development matters. Everyday we get better, not because it is easy, but because we know that we are better for it. I would put our students toe-to-toe with students from competing programs and bet on you every time. 
  • We are a start up. We have all the benefits and pitfalls that come with that. We are agile and accessible with endless possibilities. We also experience growing pains as we prove ourselves in a well established market. It is my hope that as we get bigger and more established we do not lose our creativity and flexibility. These are attributes that are uniquely Western and grow and test our character on a daily basis.

We Are All Ambassadors

Choose your words wisely and choose your actions even more carefully. We are ambassadors for this industry, our program and our university. We are only as good as the last graduate from our program. 
  • Make our alumni proud. All the of graduates that came before you are out there paving the way for you everyday, do not disappoint.
  • Be an advocate for our industry. Do this with an appreciation for all opinions and perspectives. Do this with humility and a willingness to learn. Be proud of our profession and shatter old stereo types.
  • Be a recruiter. Go home on the holidays and find those in your communities that would love to follow in your foots steps. Visit your high schools and community events and share what it means to be a mountaineer.

Keep doing what you are doing and do more of it.  
Western UP.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Thoughts on Industry

When analyzing the oil and gas industry, supply and demand of these commodities must be considered. Currently, the United States, Russia, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are producing oil and gas at record levels. On the demand side of the equation, China is one of the largest consumers of oil and gas. As China’s economy has slowed down, their consumption of oil and gas has followed. The global economy is interconnected with China and the effects of a struggling Chinese economy are felt worldwide. Oil is bought and sold in U.S. dollars, which affects the current price. A stronger U.S. dollar drives the price of oil down. An increase in global supply and decrease in global demand creates uncertainty for the oil and gas industry.

There are countless sources predicting the upturn of oil and gas prices but future prices are unknown. Currently however, there are favorable developments in the industry. Pipelines are being constructed from the northeast (Marcellus and Utica Shale) region and connected to multiple large hubs. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants are being built. And the repeal of a four-decade old U.S. crude export ban may be under review. If you ask an oil and gas professional with 30 years plus experience they will tell you prices will bounce back, the “good times” will emerge once again.

There are limited opportunities right now, but with adversity comes possibility. One lesson I have learned in my short career is that the job duties and responsibilities of a landman are vast. We work with numerous industries including agriculture, environmental, regulatory, construction, and many more. My first land related internship was for a non-profit conservation company. From there, the road to landing a full time opportunity with a publicly traded and diversified oil and gas company has been challenging and rewarding. So remember that it is important to exhaust all avenues for opportunity in this business because the industry will turn around. For all my fellow fishermen out there, when a dry fly is not working do not be afraid to tie on a streamer. This university has equipped you with the right tools for you to achieve success. Do not be afraid to use them. Best of luck on your future endeavors Mountaineers.

Best regards,

Brain Amsberry

Landman, Noble Energy

Friday, September 4, 2015

Internship Lessons Learned: SM Energy, Charle Miller

Ambition: A Double Edged Sword.

Hey y’all! I was very surprised how much I missed our group this summer! It will be nice to see all of you again. How was your summer? Mine was great, and I learned a lot. I wanted to take a minute to share with you a mistake I saw from several interns this summer. Hopefully, this will benefit you in your upcoming internships and careers.

What is the mistake I noticed? People being overly ambitious.

I know what you're thinking, 'How can you be overly ambitious?' Have you ever met someone who comes on too strong? Or someone who is trying to get something out of you by being pushy? These are some of the characteristics I am speaking of. Ambition is like perfume, a little is good but too much will give everyone around you a headache.

Some of the interns, in my opinion, came across too aggressively when speaking to management. There is a time and place for everything. There is a time to try and connect with upper management or a potential client, but there is also a time to give them some breathing room. I am a strong believer in less is more. You can really wear out your welcome with an individual by constantly asking questions, and trying to get to know them. You don't want to look desperate or like a brown nose! This summer I learned I was not alone in this belief. Here are two things that were said to me this summer, and both of these are from landmen with over 30 years in the business:

1) One gentleman I came to respect this summer stated that he did not enjoy dinners with the interns because he felt many were 'too pushy.' I actually noticed this from many interns, and felt bad for some of the management.

2) After getting to know another landman, he confided in me that he refused to wear his company shirt in public. The reason for this was the constant harassment he received from industry people trying to get a job or a deal done.

Get to know these people because you are interested in them – not for what they can do for you. Keep in mind, these experienced landmen have been around the block many times, and can see through the b.s. Menon has done a great job of telling us how to connect with people. Keep those things in mind and be genuinely interested in the other person.

This is my 'takeaway' from this summer! Hope this helps.