Longhorns have a long history of making an impact on the world. We take on challenges and seek out unique learning experiences. We expect the best of ourselves and our university. Are you curious, ambitious, open-minded and ready to achieve your dreams?
Then you’re ready to be a Longhorn!
Chase your challenge
Faith Carter isn’t a petroleum engineer because it’s easy. Quite the opposite, in fact.
“Petroleum engineering is based on geology the way that chemical engineering is based on chemistry, or mechanical engineering on physics,” she explains. While her education at DeBakey High School in Houston included AP Chemistry and Physics, geology wasn’t part of the curriculum. She wondered if she’d be prepared to apply to the Cockrell School of Engineering’s top-ranked petroleum engineering major.
“I thought ‘If I can do this, I can prove to myself that I can do whatever I want.’”
Five years later, Carter has proven that again and again – to herself, her family, her employers, and even international leaders in higher education and engineering.
Through hard work, the advice of a mentor – another Black woman in petroleum engineering – and the support of UT Austin’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Carter made a successful transition into the Cockrell School and quickly became a student leader in engineering both on and off the Forty Acres.
She began her internships and field work the summer after her freshman year, working as a field drilling intern for Occidental Petroleum outside of Midland, Texas. “It was a great learning experience,” she says. “I can go on anybody’s rig, name each machine and help you troubleshoot anything going wrong.” The following summer, she landed a job as a drilling and completion intern on a Chevron oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico
Offshore, Carter worked on a project to improve the reliability of a tool used in drilling, saving time and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Carter’s other two internships, in reservoir engineering at LINN Energy and operations engineering for XTO Energy, gave her additional opportunities to build professional experience and put her degree to work.
Back in Austin, Carter rose through the ranks of NSBE, from chair of the freshman board to chapter president and then member of the regional board. Her work to advance LGBTQ inclusion in the organization netted her an invitation to speak at a 2016 White House summit on university diversity and inclusion, and her business leadership led her to present at the International Seminar for Engineering Leaders in Santiago, Chile.
After a senior year spent studying abroad in Mexico and interning part-time, Carter graduated and accepted a position as a petroleum engineer for Newfield Exploration. “I never would have thought this was possible for me,” she says. She traces her success back to a calculus class she took during her freshman year.
“I learned to relentlessly go to office hours to ask questions. I realized that it made my life easier and made my learning process more effective. Now in my position as a new engineer at Newfield, asking questions has been key. UT Austin, as well as the company I work for, is home to so many great minds that you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not asking questions and learning as much as possible.”
Excellence and inclusion
Carter’s experience illustrates both the academic and community resources available to students of color at The University of Texas at Austin. They include:
- The Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence, which houses academic success and leadership programs
- The Multicultural Engagement Center, which provides advising and support and houses student agencies
- More than 1,300 sponsored student organizations, including honors associations, clubs and fraternities/sororities
UT Austin freshmen also participate in special learning communities that help them make a successful transition into college, connect with professors and meet other students.
Beyond the freshman year, students benefit from ongoing support, no matter their needs. Each of the 13 undergraduate colleges and schools staffs its own career center to provide students with major- and field-specific advice, while the university’s Sanger Learning Center offers one-on-one support to help students reach their academic potential.
That potential flourishes in The University of Texas at Austin’s environment of academic excellence. Competitively ranked programs, a world-class faculty and outstanding facilities offer students the opportunity to participate in a rich history of world-changing scholarship at a university named one of the top 30 in the world by U.S. News & World Report.
We’re here to help
Connect with our staff at one of the university’s admissions centers around the state. Our counselors work with students, families and schools to provide more information about UT Austin and our admissions and financial aid processes.