Adam Howard

Founding member and vice president of engineering, Monadnock Resources LLC, Addison, Texas

Career path: He chose a reservoir engineering offer with Exxon over an operations offer; worked to restore a Gulf of Mexico field and gained valuable Permian experience. Next worked at Netherland Sewell (NSAI) in Dallas, then Forge Energy in San Antonio, before helping found Monadnock.

Global shales: While working at NSAI, he evaluated sandstones in Poland, the Republic of Georgia, India, Argentina, and Ecuador.

Advice to young professionals: “Be observant and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I have learned just as much or more simply observing people I respect, from C-suite executives to toolpushers, than in any class.”

Quotable: “A lesson is only truly learned if it changes future behavior. Repetition is usually comfortable and sometimes necessary, but rarely leads to improvement or innovation.”

Thick and thin: He got married during his senior year of college. “We had to scrape by those last couple of semesters. She worked at a bank for $10 an hour and I had some part-time income after classes, but none of it added up to a lot. Even so, we look back on those lean times fondly.” Those times taught him that relationships matter more than material things, and that a strong support network makes challenges less daunting.

40under40 feat. Adam Howard Audio