Since starting out, Geoff Cole has only moved onward and upward in his career. Hired out of college into TPG Capital, he knows firsthand the positive impact young energy professionals can make on the sector.
One piece of advice Cole would emphasize to other young professionals is the importance of networking, which is reflected in his activities outside of work as a member of both the ADAM Energy Forum, Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Wildcatters along with attending various industry events.
Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?
“I started my career in private equity with TPG Capital, where I was able to analyze various industries from biotech, healthcare, TMT, energy and others as part of the valuations and portfolio monitoring team. This wide lens allowed me to zoom in on the energy industry as the shale era developed and provided an intriguing and challenging opportunity to focus on an industry that required coordination and the ability to apply my finance background with other technical groups to cultivate a cohesive, innovative and successful team.”
What is a career milestone you reached sooner than you had planned?
“An important milestone that I reached sooner than I had planned was the opportunity to observe and participate in board meetings. The experience to interact with individuals that make strategic decisions is unparalleled and has refined my perspective of what it takes for midstream companies to think strategically and be successful.”
What qualities do you think are necessary for a good leader in the oil and gas industry?
“A good leader is dependable, leads by example, promotes positive culture and morale along with the ability to strategically think and position a business so incremental value is added. When it comes to decision-making, a good leader can incorporate proven methods and lessons learned from previous experiences while accepting innovative ideas when evaluating strategic initiatives and making important decisions.”
What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?
“I believe oil and gas will be a prevalent fuel source for the foreseeable future, but I also think our industry should focus on continuous improvement from enhancing operations through technology to supporting proper education for those less familiar with the impact the energy industry has on our global communities. Participating in an industry that provides reliable, low-cost energy sources with the ability to improve the quality of life for millions, if not billions, of individuals around the world is inspiring and should not be discounted. The industry is always presenting new challenges that require thoughtful ideas to overcome hurdles, whether they are controllable or not. Every scenario requires a strategic plan that is executable to enhance the positioning of your company.”
What do you think young industry members as a group have to offer that is unique to them?
“Young industry members have the duty to continue the goals our predecessors have set but should focus on continuous improvement and refinement, so those goals are not only accomplished but exceed our industry expectations and demands from society. As generations pass through our industry, each member can apply fresh ideas, technologies and perspectives to the industry.”
What professional and/or personal advice would you give other young professionals in the industry?
“Given oil and gas is a quickly evolving industry, its global breadth and necessity, I would say there is value in slowing down to observe the big picture, have patience and engage in collaborative discussions to help strategically position your business to maximize value by identifying enhancements to both tangible and intangible aspects of the company."
1. I am a third-generation energy professional.
2. I enjoy handiwork and prior to having my children, I completed a remodel of our kitchen and utility room in our first house, including electrical, plumbing, sheet rock, tiling, cabinetry and trim work. Now my weeknights and weekends are filled with coaching youth sports.
3. Our team marketing project at Texas Christian University was to develop a product and put together a marketing plan. Our idea was wireless earbuds that connected to the recently released iPod in the early 2000s. We were 12 years ahead of the official release of the AirPods—we should have put a patent on our product!