UNT and Pioneer Provide Hands-On Approach for New Energy MBA
Through a collaboration between Pioneer Natural Resources and the University of North Texas – College of Business, Dr. Joe Michels P.E., C.P.L. has developed an innovative way to teach students about resource expenditures as part of the newly formed UNT Energy MBA.
Working in conjunction with Harvey Zimmerman, Director of the UNT Institute of Petroleum Accounting, Dr. Michels was able to invite officials from Pioneer Natural Resources to his class, where they presented a logistics problem the firm had not yet addressed. Students in the part-time UNT Energy MBA were required to tackle the project as a group, a challenge which involved taking on the problem itself (developing an automatic spreadsheet tool which could calculate costs accrued in the oil field) but also the added obstacle of completing a semester-long full-time project in a part-time program.
For the most part, students in the program were responsible for completing the project while still working full time during the day and attending classes at night. As a result, coordinating a number of varying schedules was yet another challenging component of completing the project. Nonetheless, students presented their final project to a number of Pioneer employees and guests at the end of the semester, receiving a unanimous and positive perception of the student’s work.
Both the students in Michel’s class and the professionals at Pioneer benefitted from the program, with Pioneer claiming that they fully intended to implement the class’ spreadsheet tool in their daily operations. Josef Noebauer, an MBA student in Michel’s class, also commented on the impact of the project on his education and experience, saying that it was “… one of the most challenging projects of the MBA program, but also one of the most rewarding … one of the most rewarding aspects was the feeling that we were making an impact and helping to affect the supply chain in the energy industry.”