At 20 years old, Hunter Brown had a career, a company vehicle and covered a 200-mile radius servicing 38 natural gas compressors in Texas, something many his age would still be working toward. However, this Oklahoma native was ready to return to his roots and go for something bigger closer to home.
After moving back to Oklahoma, Brown began working as a technician for Magellan Midstream Partners LP, with responsibilities that included maintaining the truck loading rack — which fuels around 200 trucks a day — as well as supporting air monitoring and permitting equipment and managing eight storage tanks.
“My goals with Magellan from day one have been to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible to become a valuable asset to the company,” he said. “I knew I always wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree but never knew which direction I would go.”
Looking to develop his leadership and management skills, Brown began researching degrees. He heard about OSU Institute of Technology’s new Bachelor of Technology in Applied Technical Leadership (BT in ATL) through a few faculty members at OSUIT and decided to follow his dream of obtaining a baccalaureate degree.
“After hearing about the program, I knew that was the path that would not only benefit me with Magellan, but I also knew the BT in ATL would be the perfect fit for me,” he said. “Becoming a field supervisor and being able to provide assistance and quality assurance is something I’m extremely passionate about.”
Brown said he greatly enjoys the BT in ATL coursework and likes the convenience and flexibility that is baked in. The online program offers an accelerated structure that is designed for working adults, just like Brown.
“The process of completing schoolwork while also having a very demanding full-time job was concerning to me before enrolling,” he said. “The program is 100 percent online, so I can focus on my job and all of my duties and responsibilities that come with it and pursue and follow my dreams to continue to be successful and obtain upper-level positions with Magellan.”
In January 2020, Magellan promoted Brown to operations supervisor in Houston, where he is responsible for 60 technicians. During his interview process, he mentioned his enrollment in the BT in ATL, intriguing the company executives.
Brown hopes to complete his degree by summer 2021, but he is working at his own pace.
“I am in no rush, and Magellan is extremely supportive of this approach,” he said. “I am excited and hopeful in continuing to move forward with my career at Magellan, and I know the completion of this program will be another great point to add to my resume.”
Although this is a new degree to OSUIT, Brown is no stranger to the campus. He is continuing his education and career goals right where he started eight years ago — at OSUIT.
Born and raised in Henryetta, Oklahoma, Brown began taking classes at OSUIT as a junior in high school. He completed 30 hours of college credit hours before graduating as valedictorian from Henryetta High School in 2013.
Brown enrolled in applied science in industrial maintenance — natural gas compression technologies and completed his associate degree in less than a year, thanks to the college credits he earned during high school.
“The reason I chose OSUIT was because of the opportunities that were available to me, even before graduating,” he said. “Not only was it extremely affordable, but I had also heard of the awesome faculty and staff in the natural gas program. When I toured the facilities there on campus, I was extremely impressed and excited to be a part of something so fantastic.”
Brown earned an internship with USA Compression in Midland, Texas, which led to a full-time job before graduating.
Brown hopes that his completing the BT in ATL while maintaining his job will serve as motivation for his younger brother, who started his associate degree at OSUIT last fall.
“I would not be near as successful or proud of what I do every day if I hadn’t attended OSUIT,” Brown said. “I have built relationships with personnel, peers and many others that will last a lifetime. OSUIT was and still is the best decision I ever made for my education goals.”