The Rice Energy Finance Summit (REFS) is an annual student-led conference promoting forward-looking discussions on the most relevant energy finance, investment and strategy topics affecting the global energy industry. And founders Jan Goetgeluk and Jesús Patiño say it's just another example of what you can do with the support and resources found within the Rice community & network.
Jan is originally from Belgium, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering from Ghent University, and came to Houston in 2007 as a project engineer for Katoen Natie, a Belgian petrochemical logistics conglomerate. Jan is the founder and CEO of Virtuix and the developer of the Virtuix Omni, the first virtual reality interface to move freely and naturally in video games and virtual worlds.
Jesús has over 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He began his career in the oil field with M-I SWACO in his home country of Mexico before expanding into deepwater drilling assignments in the US Gulf of Mexico, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana. Jesús is a strategy and business development consultant at AerMill Solutions. He previously worked at Oceaneering International as a commercial manager for intervention services.
They join host Scott Gale ‘19 to discuss how they first met at Rice international student orientation many years ago, how Hurricane Ike affected the first year of the conference (as well as their friendship), and the importance of swinging big.
16:40 [Jan] It's such an incredible rich experience being at Rice Business School. It's a unique time in your life, and for me, it's still today the best time of my life. [Jesus] And that goes definitely to the program and also for the alumni life, right? Once you're an alum, there's always something interesting going on. And being outside Houston, it's harder to remain involved, but attending the events outside Houston and trying to be part of it. You always get more than what you put in.
A reflection on rich experiences during and after Rice
18:39 [Jan] If you want to organize a conference and make it a big success, it's just a matter of doing it. A lot of people have a lot of ideas in life. And I always say that ideas are like buses. There's another one every five minutes. You have to do it, and you have to execute and make it happen.
Ideas are like buses
13:05 [Jesus] Every time I speak with a student, nowadays, I always tell them that there's only two years in their lives where they are going to be able to start an email saying, "I am a Rice MBA student that wants to speak with you." And that line is powerful because it really resonates with people; you get their attention, and that's a door opener that you shouldn't let go.
The Rice Business School advantage