Twenty business students learned the nuances of the corporate world from Roger Hemminghaus, the former CEO and chairman of Ultramar Diamond Shamrock, during a networking dinner hosted by the college’s Center for Student Professional Development.
Following introductions from the students, Hemminghaus shared his business philosophy and answered student questions.
“I learned how to be successful by watching my father,” said Hemminghaus, a member of the UTSA Development Board. “I shared those same characteristics with my son and now you. Learn the business you are in, never turn down a challenge, find mentors and have fun on the job.”
How to Be Successful in Business
- Work hard, learn the business
- Never stop learning
- Never turn down a challenge
- Find mentors and be a mentor as you progress in your career
- Live a balanced life
- Have fun on the job
Wearing a UTSA tie, Hemminghaus also presented his views on corporate governance from both his role as a former CEO and as a member of a corporate board. “The CEO sets the tone, develops the team and helps their team achieve success. As a board member you are responsible for the governance of the organization, but not the management of day-to-day operations.”
While Hemminghaus acknowledged that not everyone can be a CEO, he did share six traits that lead to leadership success. “Leaders need to be honest, predictable, inspirational, broadly focused, humble, and decision makers,” he said.
Following a successful career in the oil and gas industry, Hemminghaus continues to serve on the boards of CTS Corporation, Tandy Brand Accessories and the Southwest Research Institute.
Hemminghaus concluded the event by encouraging students to sit down every year and write out their goals. Even today, he noted that he continues this exercise and posts them in his closet as a constant reminder.
“It is a pleasure to be around bright, hardworking and successful people in this stage of life,” said Hemminghaus, who recently established the Diamond Shamrock Legacy Scholarship in the College of Business. “Don’t undersell yourselves. There is a lot of talent around this table.”
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