Longtime businessman and politician Mike Collier spoke to University of Texas Permian Basin students Tuesday afternoon at the Library Lecture Hall on campus, sharing stories from his time and experiences working in the oil and gas and industry.
“I’m very honored to be invited out here to be a guest lecturer,” Collier said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be invited.”
Among the things that were discussed were negotiation skills as well as ethics.
Collier started his career at Exxon but soon found his way to PricewaterhouseCoopers where he helped build and then divest.
He continues to work with companies investing in energy in Texas.
Collier started making his living in the energy industry in 1984 and says that there has been plenty of change over the past 37 years.
“Each time we see change, we worry about what this means,” Collier said. “I’m immersed in that and I have a point of view about what I think the changes mean. I think I have good news for people in the Permian Basin and the energy world. There is a place for oil and gas and we’ll talk about that. We’ll also talk about negotiation. I don’t intend to be a prophet about negotiation, but what I am going to do is share some stories of how I’ve seen negotiations go down in the industry and offer perspective that perhaps students haven’t seen yet.”
When talking about ethics, he said it’s something that’s “near and dear to my heart.”
He shared some stories about ethical failures in the business world and what people could learn from it.
Collier put his professional career on hold to run for Texas Comptroller in 2014 where he won the Democratic nomination in the unopposed primary.
He lost the race to Republican Glenn Hegar, receiving only 37.7 percent of the vote.
In 2018, Collier won the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor, defeating Michael Cooper, carrying 52.4 percent of the vote.
Collier was defeated later that year, losing to Republican Dan Patrick by five percent of the incumbent.
Tuesday’s visit was his first on the campus of UTPB.
“I’ve known folks who have gone to UTPB,” Collier said. “I’ve never been on the campus but I love it. It’s as beautiful as I thought it would be.”
After the lecture, Collier and the students engaged in a Q and A session.
One of the things that Collier stressed to the students was to be humble in business.
“If you’re not humble, your reaction is ‘you‘re wrong and I’m right.’ That’s an arrogant person,” Collier said. “A humble person will say, ‘what do you know that I don’t know’ and try to understand.”
Being humble was a part of the lesson that Patrick Laws, a senior who’s majoring in business management from Big Spring got out of the lecture.
“It’s good to learn that you got to be humble in business whereas a proud man won’t take advice when it’s given,” Laws said.
Laws also talked about other parts of the lecture that he enjoyed.
“It’s good to get knowledge from people who’ve already been there because I’m looking at getting my CPA as well,” Laws said.
Michael Bauer is a sports reporter at the Odessa American. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org at 432-333-7772 or on Twitter .
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