Special to the Odessa American
By Rebecca Bell
MC executive director, Institutional Advancement
MIDLAND “I love the new eight-week sessions at Midland College,” Aimee Villarreal said. “I get to complete four classes in just eight weeks, which means that within a regular 16-week semester, I am able to take three more classes than I used to be able to do.”
It’s no wonder that Villarreal enjoys the accelerated Midland College offerings. She is driven to succeed, and her hard work has now proven rewarding.
The 25-year-old Rio Grande Valley native moved to Midland a little over four years ago because of the oil and gas industry. She landed a job working at ProPetro Services, an oilfield services company providing hydraulic fracturing and other complementary services to the oil and gas industry. After settling in a new town and new job, she decided that she needed to complete the education she had begun at St. Edwards University in Austin.
“When I graduated from high school in Weslaco, I moved to Austin and started taking classes part time at St. Edwards while also working there part-time,” Villarreal explained. “I was studying business administration but couldn’t afford to continue. My husband and I were drawn to the job opportunities in the Permian Basin. After getting acclimated to a new town and job, I knew it was time to continue my studies, so I enrolled at Midland College.”
For the past year, Villarreal has been completing her Associate of Applied Science degree in Office Systems Technology at Midland College (MC) and will graduate in May. She is currently taking her last course and has also begun to take classes toward MC’s bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. Thanks, to the combination of her associate degree, the ability to transfer courses from St. Edwards University and the opportunity to take advantage of the eight-week accelerated sessions at MC, she will graduate with her bachelor’s degree this coming December.
“It hasn’t been easy; my day starts early and ends late, but it’s definitely worth it,” she said.
Approximately a year ago, Sand Revolution, Inc. recruited Villarreal from her position at ProPetro to work as parts supervisor. Then, this past August, after just working at the company for only six months, Villarreal was promoted to manager. As such, she oversees three physical parts rooms in Midland and Kermit and various parts trailers in South Texas, Oklahoma, Kermit and Midland. She is quick to say that her promotion is contingent upon her completing her bachelor’s degree.
“Sand Revolution is an oilfield service company that provides large capacity transportation trailers and on-site storage for sand delivery systems to the oil and gas industry,” she explained. “The parts manager position involves coordinating inventory, placing special orders and communicating with management, technicians and vendors. When I was first hired as parts supervisor, I studied for hours about the detailed parts. The position requires that I know about mechanics, various tractor/trailer parts and sand conveyors.
“Even though I have a knack for inventory control, I don’t think I would have been hired and promoted so quickly if I had not been going to school,” Villarreal said. “Management positions at Sand Revolution require bachelor’s degrees. I’m thankful that I can attend Midland College and transition from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree. The curriculum in both the Office Systems Technology associate degree as well as the Organizational Management bachelor’s degree is really helping me succeed in my job responsibilities.”
Villarreal points to her recent MC Business Communications class taught by Sylvia Brown as a perfect example.
“In one of the case studies for the class, I presented the pros of a new tire changing machine that I really wanted Sand Revolution to purchase,” Villareal said. “I did my research on the machine and presented how the machine could cut down on technician time and reduce safety concerns. After I presented it to the class, I presented it to Sand Revolution’s upper management and convinced them to purchase the machine. It is definitely paying for itself.
“That was an amazing experience. The communications class helped instill confidence in me, not only making presentations to large audiences, but also talking one-on-one to vendors and others, as well as proper business writing etiquette.”
Besides working over 40 hours each week and going to school full time, Villarreal also keeps busy with her family. She and her husband Justin Torres have two small boys: Justin, Jr., age 5 and Mason, age 3. Villarreal said that she believes in teaching her boys to be socially responsible. The family has volunteered at Safe Place of the Permian Basin and the Midland Soup Kitchen.
They also enjoy travelling, especially places near the ocean. They have vacationed in Venice Beach, CA, as well as Turkey and Istanbul, but Villarreal said it’s always nice to return home to Midland.
“We love Midland!” Villarreal exclaimed. “We recently purchased a home, and we’re here to stay. However, we still plan to do a lot of travelling. Our next big trip will be to Greece—maybe to celebrate when I complete my bachelor’s degree!”