Broadening Horizons: Celts Exploring Businesses

By Dayuan (Peter) Liu–I am an international student coming from China and am pursuing my Master’s degree in Finance in the Cameron School of Business. This is my first semester at the University of St. Thomas, and my first time in America. I am very curious about the new environment, especially the business world. Adjusting to the American culture has been an exciting but challenging process. Fortunately, the Cameron School of Business is helping me to adjust. I greatly appreciate that CSB provides so many kinds of events and opportunities for students to learn about distinguished alumnus and good companies. The Celts Exploring Business tour at Shell Houston is one of the greatest experiences I have had so far.  I was very happy to be selected to be a part of the group who were privileged to visit Shell Houston.

The U.S. Model

I was not very familiar with the Shell company before the visit. The only thing I knew was that it is an oil company. I was looking forward to the business tour at Shell Houston for various reasons. One reason is that my hometown in Northeastern China hosts the regional office of the largest Chinese oil company named China National Petroleum Corporation. It is a traditional Chinese company in the sense that it is a state-owned-enterprise. It is my understanding that natural resources such as oil and natural gas are owned by the national government. This in terms affect the ways these resources are extracted, distributed and priced. I was curious to learn about the operation model in the US.

Touring Shell Houston

I learned about the company’s structure during this tour. When we arrived at Shell, the administrator gave every one of us a permit to tour the company. We were introduced to various person in every department, and they shared their experience with Shell and their background. It was a very informative day. The people we met were from the following departments: compliance, risk management, weather, human resources, finance, audit, technology, and contract. It was a lot to take in, and I wished I could have spent even more time there.

Inspiration

Overall, I am very impressed by what I saw at Shell Houston. The staff at Shell are not only highly skilled, but they are also very enthusiastic about their work. Moreover, I feel like Shell Houston encourages their employees to be creative and adventurous when it comes to problem-solving- a culture that is often lacking in big corporations. Personally, I am most impressed by my interaction with a trader whose background is in Physics. He told us that finding a good job does not entirely depend on your academic major. A smart person will seize any opportunity that he is interested in pursuing. As a computer science college student who just recently entered the Finance world, I can certainly relate to that.

In a word, I really liked this valuable experience at Shell with Dr. Chen and other CSB classmates. It  broadened my horizons and helped me to know more about the American enterprise culture.  I hope I can come back to Shell Houston some day in the future and learn more. I am looking forwarding to other similar opportunities offered by CSB.

Dayuan Peter Liu

UST, Master of Science in Finance, candidate

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