Monday, February 22, 2016

If You Can Make It Through This, You Can Make It Through Anything

The best way to share my NAPE experience with you is to start with the end. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Energy Landman’s Breakfast. It’s a monthly meeting of 29 land and business development professionals, and their guests, representing a number of companies in the E&P industry. The breakfast kicks off with some introductory remarks and a short speech from everybody in attendance, including the students (I choked on the first sentence). As I sat and listened to some of the senior members, I couldn’t help but think: this downturn will end, and it’ll all be alright. We were encouraged to continue with our education and stay the course. One of the last speakers said, “If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything”, and that stuck with me for the entirety of NAPE. We’ve all heard about “the great crew change”, and if you haven’t, strap in, because you’re already on your way.

As low oil prices continue to shake down the industry, we’re left wondering: where do I fit in, how can I possibly make it? While it was disheartening to hear of the recent layoffs from members of the breakfast, I was encouraged by the fervor for new opportunities and a leaner, meaner industry, so to speak.

You’ve heard it time after time; this industry is small, and everybody knows everybody. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Oh, Gunnison? I’ve got a house up there”, or “I ski Crested Butte from time to time”. It was an easy ice breaker, and served as a reminder that despite being in the middle of nowhere, we’ve got industry professionals all around us. A number of alumni, easily identified by the “W” logo on their lapel, stopped by the Western booth to get to know us. The genuine interest and time spent was a clear indicator that we are a tight group, and Western State graduates are proud of the program and everything that we’re doing.

Take the time to network and get to know your classmates well, these are the easiest connections to make and will pay dividends for years to come.

Houston NAPE was encouraging. As I walked the floor, I could see new connections being made, deals being negotiated, and business carrying on as if oil was at $100. While navigating the 14.6 acre floor, we introduced ourselves to a variety of company representatives and garnered curiosity, compliment and support. We’re different, and people are intrigued by that. Western has a fantastic program, and I enjoyed explaining why. NAPE was a great opportunity to represent Western State and the PLRM program.

Pete Mehall