SHERIDAN — Six University of Wyoming students had the chance to learn firsthand about the nation’s energy sector when they got an inside look this winter.
College of Engineering and Applied Science students Alex Brown, Chelse Felts, Meghan Jacobs, Trent Kostenuk, Tallis Macdonald and Quentin Stronski took part in the Energy Leadership Summit in Houston in January. The program, sponsored by oil and gas companies such as the Hess Corporation, represented a rare opportunity for students to interact with nearly 100 industry leaders in the gas and oil fields and learn from their expertise and professional experiences.
Jacobs is a 2013 graduate of Sheridan High School.
A partnership between CEAS and industry partners, the Energy Leadership Summit was organized by the UW Foundation with assistance from the CEAS Center for Student Success and Career Services. CEAS students applied for the summit and were selected on the basis of campus leadership skills and merit in the engineering field.
Students visited with a variety of industry leaders from various sectors, including rig contracting and offshore drilling, computer science and even the financial companies.
“What I got most out of the trip is what it’s actually like to work in the industry,” said Stronski, who serves as the president of Pi Epsilon Tau, the honors program in the college. “Many new engineers haven’t seen much of the industry as a whole or have only focused on one part.”
Students learned how the energy sector offers many opportunities, not just in chemical and petroleum engineering. Though the industry focus was on energy, students were welcomed from all areas in the college.
“Your major doesn’t limit you to a specific industry,” Brown said.
The CEAS and UW Foundation will partner to bring two more summit experiences to engineering students at UW.
The Entrepreneur Leadership Summits, scheduled for May and August, will bring students to Silicon Valley in California for a three-day excursion with industry leaders such as Google and NASA.
Priority for these trips are given to CEAS students who demonstrate leadership ability in campus organizations, the classroom or other professional development. Travel and meals are covered for selected students.
Jacobs, a junior in chemical engineering, came away impressed with the experience and assured of her certainty about her career path.
“The possibilities that lie ahead of me are endless,” she said. “I never would have thought I could live in Houston, let alone someplace like Singapore. I know I made the right choice for me in terms of a career because of this trip.”