Is an MBA in Petroleum Management in Your Future? Consider the 811 Program

BY KARLA GABEL, OFFICE OF PERSONNEL
NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND

Each year, the Supply Corps Post Graduate Education Screen Board (#302) selects Supply Corps officers to participate in both the Supply Acquisition/Distribution Management (810) and the University of Kansas Petroleum Management (811) Programs, which are both Civilian Institutions (CIVINS) Programs.

Officers selected for the 811 Program attend the University of Kansas (KU) where they earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a certificate in Petroleum Management from KU. After graduating and submitting transcripts to the Navy Postgraduate School, officers earn the Petroleum Management subspecialty code (1307P).

Officers graduating from the 811 Program typically fill billets as fuels specialists for their payback tour. Opportunities exist outside of normal billeting to participate in the Navy’s fuels program, including being selected for a Training With Industry (TWI) fellowship, where an officer has a chance to work with ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas.

811 Program Curriculum

The Petroleum Engineering Management Program began in the early 1970s, and was developed specifically for the Navy Supply Corps. In addition to earning an MBA in Petroleum Management, students can also attain a certificate in either Finance or Supply Chain Management.

Students earn an MBA from the KU School of Business and a certificate in Petroleum Management from the KU School of Engineering. In the past, the two schools were located on different campuses and had different schedules, which made it difficult to fit all classes into a two year schedule. Most officers took some night classes in order to graduate on time. With the newly restructured curriculum, night classes are no longer necessary, and all classes are held on the Lawrence campus.

The new Capitol Federal Hall building, which houses the KU School of Business. - photo by KU School of Business

The new Capitol Federal Hall building, which houses the KU School of Business. – photo by KU School of Business

The curriculum now offers courses on alternative fuels, which readies officers for billets advancing the Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative.

At the end of the first year, students take an industry tour over the summer to experience all aspects of the petroleum products supply chain. In the upcoming tour, students will meet with major commercial gas companies in Houston, Texas.

Capitol Federal Hall

One of the biggest changes to the 811 Program is a new building on the Lawrence campus. The new $70.5 million Capitol Federal Hall building houses the KU School of Business. According to the school’s website, “The total project cost is $70.5 million, with the $60.5 million construction cost coming from private funds and $10 million coming from KU funding for site preparation, utilities and furnishings.”

Central atrium in the KU School of Business - photo by KU School of Business

Central atrium in the KU School of Business – photo by KU School of Business

The state of the art 166,500-square-foot new structure has an open design that encourages interaction and collaboration. This student-centric building has 20 classrooms, a 350-seat auditorium, and 25 collaborative spaces, which go hand in hand with the cohort model of learning adopted by the 811 Program.

The Cohort Model

All students entering the 811 Program at the same time are part of the same cohort. The Navy cohort stays together throughout the two years of the program. Students work through the program together, rather than independently. A graduate-level cohort is especially helpful to students who work well in a group setting. It creates a supportive community, where members bond and learn to work together. Pursuing this MBA in a cohort guarantees you’ll always have access to the classes you need and that you’ll graduate on time.

Current 811 Program student, Lt. Kurt Welday, states that being part of a cohort is, “very beneficial because it forges lasting professional relationships and ensures we all get the most out of our time here. The schedule can be intense at times but it is very challenging and rewarding.”

Classroom in the KU School of Business – photo by KU School of Business

Classroom in the KU School of Business – photo by KU School of Business

Payback Tours and TWI

After graduating from KU, you’re likely to be assigned as a fuels director at one of Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistic Centers in Norfolk, Jacksonville, San Diego, Puget Sound, Pearl Harbor, Yokosuka, or Sigonella, or you may be assigned as a fuel planner on a major Fleet staff or combatant command.

Most, but not all, 811 Program graduates go directly into a billet upon graduation. Some past graduates of the 811 program have been selected for a follow-on tour with TWI.

A popular TWI assignment for “fuelies” is with ExxonMobil. Lcdr. Frank Kim, an 811 Program graduate, spent a year at ExxonMobil after his payback tour. While there, Lcdr. Kim progressed along different areas of the value chain, through the transportation of raw materials, quality assurance, production of refined products, distribution, and storage activities. ExxonMobil gave him the opportunity to be involved in different projects, where his experience could benefit both ExxonMobil and the Navy.

Lcdr. Owen Morrissey graduated from the 811 Program and is currently serving in the TWI Program with FedEx, where he has been able to apply what he learned in the classroom to business decisions. He’s part of a team at FedEx working to determine alternative fuel solutions for the aviation industry, focusing on identifying ways to use new forms of clean energy. This experience ties in with the Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative. After his TWI experience, Lcdr. Morrissey will go into a billet at U.S. Fleet Forces Command, where he can use his academic and TWI experience.

If you have a strong technical background, and you’re thinking of applying for a CIVINS program, consider 811. The University of Kansas offers a unique opportunity not found anywhere else.

July/August 2016