Valero Operations Manager Directs Graduate Capstone Analysis Project through His Real World Business Experiences

Published: July 11, 2013

Valero Operations Manager Directs Graduate Capstone Analysis Project through His Real World Business Experiences

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi alumnus, Adam Smith, shared his real world experiences as the Complex 1 Operations Manager at the Valero Bill Greehey Refinery, the largest domestic refining operations business in the United States, by helping a university class in their major project that concluded with a presentation on July 2.

Smith gave a presentation and assisted Dr. Scott Sherman, Associate Professor of Business Management, in Dr. Sherman’s Business Management 5355 capstone course in June.  Smith is the youngest Complex Manager at Valero, who graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with his MBA in 2008. He discussed the skills he uses on a daily basis in his position at the refinery in his initial June presentation.

“It’s important to help educate and inform future business leaders about the energy sector,” said Smith. “I was able to give some key insights into today’s refining market with a glimpse into the future and the opportunities it will bring.”

Smith added that Dr. Sherman’s capstone course was one of his most important MBA courses when he was a student.

“It was truly the culmination of all the learned business skills and principles that I acquired through the MBA program, in particular, analyzing and interpreting an industry’s competitiveness,” Smith said.

Smith helped orient the graduate capstone students to the refinery industry in his June presentation. Students from Dr. Sherman’s capstone class were responsible for creating an analysis for Valero’s competitor Tesoro. Together, the students worked to create four firms that would compete against Tesoro. They applied their learning and understanding from class to create these firms and generate an individual analysis and presentation which they gave at the end of the semester. Smith was available to students throughout the semester via e-mail and telephone if they had any questions about the presentation. Smith was an observer and helped provide students feedback in their final presentations on July 2.

“It was helpful having a former student’s understanding and perspective of the capstone class to assist the current students in building their knowledge about the business work force” said Dr. Sherman.