MC grad enjoys working at the Petroleum Professional Development Center

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MC grad enjoys working at the Petroleum Professional Development CenterJuly 27, 2021

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Marina Rodriguez on River Road near Terlingua, TX

Marina Rodriguez graduated from Big Bend High School in Terlingua, TX in 2007 and then moved to Midland to obtain a job.  

“Midland just seemed like a good place to live,” Rodriguez explained. “I am certainly glad I chose Midland.”

Rodriguez found employment in Midland and married her husband Jose Galindo.  She worked at a call center for six years before the center closed in 2014.

“In the summer of 2016, I decided that I should probably take some college courses in order to have a better chance of getting another job, so I took one class at Midland College—Art Appreciation”, Rodriguez said.  “At the time, Jose and I had two small sons, and I wasn’t sure if I could juggle family responsibilities and going to school.  As it turned out, I got an ‘A’ in the class, so in the fall, I decided to take more classes and major in Business Systems.”

In addition, Marina also landed a temporary job at the Midland College Petroleum Professional Development Center (PPDC), a division of Midland College offering continuing education for the Permian Basin energy industries.  

“By working at the PPDC, I was able to use a lot of the skills that I was learning in my classes, such as creating handouts, reviewing PowerPoint presentations for the instructors and creating invoice forms, purchase requisitions, evaluation forms and seminar booklets,” Rodriguez said.  “Although the temporary assignment was only for eight months, six months later I was hired as a work study student for two months and then hired as an assistant program coordinator.”

Rodriguez said that she continued taking classes, usually taking three or four each semester. 

“I learned how to be a very good time manager,” she said.  “It wasn’t easy juggling family, school and a full-time job, but it was worth it.  I took as many classes as I could online, so that I could study and get projects done after my boys went to sleep in the evenings.  My favorite class, however, was an in-person class, Administrative Project Solutions, taught by Sylvia Brown.  This class provided us with a simulated work environment.  We had to make judgments on how to perform certain tasks and get the work accomplished on a deadline.  I think it really helped to develop my critical thinking skills.”

In May 2020, Rodriguez graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Systems and was then promoted to program coordinator at the Midland College PPDC.  As such, Rodriguez is part of a three-person administrative team responsible for providing high-quality, timely and pertinent educational opportunities to meet the professional development needs of those working in the regional energy industry.  Rodriguez and her fellow coordinator Laurie Lindsey are responsible for marketing classes, arranging seminars and symposiums,  preparing curriculum material, enrolling students and taking care of the day-to-day administrative operations.  

“Laurie and I complement each other really well,” Rodriguez said.  “We have different skills and talents, and we just divide the work load accordingly.  I like the variety of work that my job offers.  There’s always something new at the PPDC.”

The busy department is managed by Director Erin Van Evera-Welch who oversees programming and serves as Midland College’s liaison with the West Texas oil and gas industry.

Marina Rodriguez and her husband Jose have now had a third son.  The family consists of Jorge, age 13; Adryan, age 10; and baby Liam who is 7 months.  The family enjoys spending time together and traveling throughout Texas.  Their two favorite places are San Antonio and Galveston.  They are also looking forward to going back to the Big Bend area and hiking in Santa Elena Canyon.

Her sister, Marissa, has been a role model for her two sisters to attend college.  She is also a Midland College graduate and received a degree in Respiratory Care.  Her youngest sister Mariela is currently taking prerequisite courses for Midland College’s Sonography program.

“Now that I have my degree, I plan to continue to take courses so that I can expand my knowledge of the energy industry,” Rodriguez explained.  “I don’t have work experience in the industry, but the PPDC offers some great continuing education courses for people who don’t have any formal oil and gas education but find themselves working in the industry.  I have already taken Introduction to Oilfield Operations and plan to one day take Oilfield Terminology.  Just because I have a degree doesn’t mean I have to stop learning!”

 

Photo:  Marina Rodriguez on The River Road between Presidio and Lajitas, Texas, near her hometown of Terlingua.

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