Words of wisdom

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Skill Set, Winter 2022 | 0 comments

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Several times a year, Mines offers opportunities for the Oredigger community to learn from Mines alumni who have become industry leaders and CEOs through roundtable discussions. These alumni typically offer tips and tricks for building a successful career, growing leadership skills, pitfalls to avoid and how to be resilient through any internal and external challenges. Here are some of the best tips and tricks they shared.

Nancy Keegan

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career or change industries, an advanced degree might give you the skills and knowledge to get there.

“For a Mines graduate, one thing that [business school] will teach you is thinking from a greater distance—from 30,000 feet—rather than diving into the details. But in all honesty, the main thing it does for your career is a bit of a restart. If you feel like you should be at the next level in your organization but you’re not being seen that way, if you exit and come back with an MBA or another advanced degree, that gives management the excuse to put you in a different department, a different position—elevate you.”

Nancy Keegan ’82
Mines Foundation Board of Governors

Joseph Eazor

“I’ve had good fortune from taking measured risks. Transitioning from the petroleum industry to go back to graduate school and then leaving the consulting industry to go to the corporate world were calculated risks. All those experiences sort of build a portfolio of capabilities and a mentality of leadership that I’ve leveraged through my career.”

Joseph Eazor ’85
CEO and President


Kelly Taga

Your degree doesn’t have to constrain you to a particular type of work or career path—it’s more about what gets you excited.

“One of the things I ask people that I hire is ‘What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning—what do you get excited about and what are you anxious to get in and go make happen for the day?’ Those are the things that will propel you in whatever career path or industry you decide to take.”

Kelly Taga ’00
Senior Division President, Northern Colorado
Richmond American Homes

Andrea Passman

Listening to others and honing the skills you want are key to becoming a better leader.

“Before my MBA, I was a horrible listener. Actually listening to other people, that is one of the foundations to being a much better leader and being more engaged. Surround yourself with people with skills you don’t have so you can learn from them and continue to hone your skills.”

Andrea Wescott Passman ’98
Chief Operating Officer

Christine Staples

The learning doesn’t stop after graduating from Mines.

“The idea of learning and a growth mindset, and through your whole life, continuously learn is my advice. Take every opportunity
to learn something new.”

Christine Staples ’96
G20 Technologies