Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas Natural Gas Foundation

Summer 2016 

Position: Intern
Student: Economics Sophomore

I was an intern for the Texas Natural Gas Foundation in the summer of 2016. The Texas Natural Gas Foundation is a non-profit educational and research organization established to increase public awareness, support, and knowledge of the benefits of natural gas use in Texas. As an intern, I helped out with research that was done on natural gas use in Texas and distributed in a number of press releases by the organization. Over the course of the internship we accumulated data and drew conclusions on several economic topics concerning natural gas, including to what degree public government grants leverage private natural gas investment, how prolific natural gas use is by region in Texas, and how much taxes on natural gas fund state public education.
    I worked at the internship site from 1:30 to 4:30, Monday through Thursday, for 9 weeks.  Some days, depending on what we were working on at the time, I was able to work from home. My supervisor was very accommodating for factors such as class. For the first part of the internship my responsibilities focused on data collection. We conducted a survey of all ~300 known organizations in Texas who have invested in natural gas infrastructure or vehicles. We did this by emailing and phoning contacts the organization has at each company/organization. The next step focused on reading previous studies of natural gas stations/vehicles to determine the functional dollar values of investment we would use for different types of stations and vehicles. We were then able to draw economic conclusions from our data on natural gas investment dollar value by region, and comparison with total government grant input. Most of my time at the internship site was spent contacting companies for information, reading papers on natural gas, and data cleaning/manipulation in Google Sheets/Excel. I found that the internship was a great opportunity to learn and practice Excel skills. I also thought that it was a good experience for anyone who is interested in research as a career.

Spring 2016 

Position: Intern
Student: Economics Senior

My internship with the Texas Natural Gas Foundation offered me many opportunities to gain valuable experience in a couple different facets. I was able to apply some of my economic skills, analyzing how the market for natural gas is changing and researching data in order to put together press releases and newsletters for subscribers. Not only did I get to research a lot of material pertaining to natural gas, I also was part of writing some of the pieces in the newsletters, mostly in the second semester of this internship (Spring 2016).

Writing has never been my forte, but this experience that this internship awarded me is helpful in any career I may choose. Mostly, in the first semester (Fall 2015) of this internship, since the Foundation was very new, I did a lot of cold calling for information and inviting to workshops we were putting on. I wont lie, this was not fun, however, I do feel a lot more comfortable cold calling now than I did before. After I cold called a couple people, I became more comfortable with having the sometimes awkward conversations and learned how to direct them to the response I needed or wanted, which either ended with them providing the information I needed or them promising to attend the event. Whether I enjoyed this or not, there is no doubt that it was great experience for any job I may have in the future.

In addition to recruiting these attendees for our workshops, I also was able to help plan the workshops. This gave me some insight in what goes into planning an event like this. This internship with the Texas Natural Gas Foundation has also allowed me to work with and for a state representative. Jason Isaac is extremely helpful and was always willing to answer any questions I had about government or the oil and gas industry. Being a state representative, he was able to introduce me to many people within the industry, giving me great contacts and networking opportunities. He is also very friendly and has given me a lot of advice regarding places to seek employment after this internship is over. A lot of the work I did, was done in the home office of my supervisor, however I did occasionally get to work inside the Texas Capitol, which is amazingly beautiful on the inside and a great place to get to call your place of employment.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508