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Business Graduates

Aaron Priest, MBA

Aaron Priest, MBA

What I do now: I am an engineer for Premium Oilfield Services, an independent oil and gas service company. We provide well intervention services to the North American market, as well as some international projects.

My work/job consists of: Ultimately, I oversee all technical aspects of the business, but what makes my experience with Premium so great is that every day is completely different from the last. One day I may be designing marketing materials, and the next I may be spent making engineering drawings for client reports. On occasion, I find myself staring up the derrick of a drilling rig in the middle of the night. Regardless of where I am, every day is a new adventure, which is always made special by the people around me.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present): Some people choose their profession, and some professions choose the person. After my first year of college in 2000, my profession chose me when I entered the Navy recruiter's office. I didn't know much about electronics at the time, but it seemed electronics was what I was destined to pursue. During my 6-year enlistment as an electronics technician, I finished an AAS in electromechanical technologies, and after my enlistment wrapped up in San Diego, I moved to Lafayette, LA to pursue an opportunity in the oil and gas service industry. The planets aligned just right for me to land in my current position in 2013, and I have been fortunate enough to finish both my BS and MBA in the few years I have been with Premium.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS): With the unpredictable nature of my job, a 100% online program was essential for my success, but I didn't want to compromise on quality of education or school reputation. After a lot of research, the no-brainer for me happened to be in my own state. An AACSB accredited program that I could finish in less than a year seemed too good to be true, but there I was walking across the stage eleven months after starting my first class.

Fond memories of LSUS: While I didn't have the on-campus experience that many others have, I still felt as though I was a member of LSUS family. I met and collaborated with a lot of great people, and the faculty was second to none.

LSUS faculty who helped me: I have a lot of respect for all teachers at any level, but I must say I enjoyed Finance 701 the most with Dr. Timothy Vines.

How LSUS helped me succeed: My experience at LSUS has made me a much more valuable asset for my company to utilize, but many of the lessons learned can be applied to personal experiences as well.

Advice to college-bound students: The biggest regret I have is not taking the time to explore more career options and finishing school when responsibilities were minimal. I'm proud to have made the decision to serve my country, but I would finish school first if I had it to do over again. So, take your time and don't get too anxious to join to the rest of us in the workforce.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field: Technology is constantly evolving and reaching levels we never imagined were possible. Technology is all around us and offers unlimited opportunities that never cease to amaze.

Tips on choosing a major or career: Choosing a major/career is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. The funny thing is, those choices don't seem so significant at the time. For various reasons, many of us don't realize our true aspirations until much later in life. So, the best advice I can give is to think about all the things you enjoy doing the most, determine what careers may correlate, and talk to professionals in those fields about their experiences. Take advantage of electives during the first couple of years by taking classes that may interest you. One elective may steer you onto the career path you will enjoy the most.

My toughest professional challenge: The biggest challenge I have faced, and will continue to face, is the feeling of not knowing enough. No matter how much school, training, or on-the-job training I receive, I will always feel I don't know enough to do my job to the standard I feel I should.

My toughest personal challenge: Juggling full-time school, work, and an active pre-teen has probably made these the most stressful years of my life. However, they have also been the most rewarding.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life: My greatest success has been my beautiful daughter. She never ceases to amaze me. Also, receiving my master's degree was something I always dreamed of, but it never seemed like a possibility. LSUS has made that a reality I will forever be grateful for. Finally, I'm very proud to have had a successful career in the Navy where I received several medals for my professional achievements.

I've learned this from life: You only get one life to live, and that life will be what you make it. If you open your mind to other's perspectives and new experiences, you will find yourself much more fulfilled and enlightened.

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world: Watching everything Netflix has to offer!