Interpreting the Business of Energy

Laura Mason turned a passion for economics and political science into a rewarding career as a financial analyst in global energy. Now, she is finishing an MBA and influencing investment trade in North America for ExxonMobil.

A good friend convinced Laura Mason to leave her Michigan hometown to study economics and political science in Texas.

"I moved down to come to TCU and then never left. I definitely fell in love with Texas," said Mason, a native of East Lansing. "Looking back it was one of the best choices I made."

Three weeks after graduation, Mason accepted a research analyst position with ExxonMobil. Her job focus is long-term forecast of energy supply and demand around the world and educating the public about energy issues. Although normally a two-year position, Mason was asked to stay on as an analyst while she completed her MBA at a local university.

"I really love the company and the projects I had an opportunity to work on, so if I could pursue an MBA and work for the company, I could have the best of both worlds," said Mason, who expects to graduate in August 2014. "Itís only helped me be a better employee overall."

Mason switched roles at ExxonMobil in early 2014, joining the cash management group as a financial analyst in foreign exchange trade. "I went from looking at long-term projects to a much more day-to-day operational role about how we make sure weíve appropriately funded the company today," she said. "Itís a wholly different experience, but itís really good to have such polar opposite viewpoints of the company."

Mason credits her TCU experience for helping her manage a demanding schedule of juggling a full-time career in energy and graduate business school studies.

"One of the best lessons I ever got was from an economics professor. She said the greatest thing you can ever learn was how to be a good learner," said Mason. "Because I landed on a career that utilizes my passions from college, Iím passionate about what Iím doing at work. It makes it a lot easier to wake up in the morning when youíre truly interested in what youíre going to be doing that day."

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