March 1, 2023
Congratulations to the 2023 Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame class!
Over the next few days, we will be highlighting each SHoF recipient.
The new members participated in a Q&A reflecting on their time at Mississippi State.
What is your name, age, classification and major?
Braden LaBerenz, 22, senior, Petroleum Engineering
What year did you begin studying at MSU and when is your expected graduation date?
I began in the Fall of 2019 and will be graduating in May of 2023.
Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?
I chose Mississippi State because it had a down-home atmosphere unlike any other school I visited. I felt like I fit right in with my peers, and the people around me were more than welcoming. More specifically to petroleum engineering, MSU offered a classroom setting with a lower student-to-faculty ratio, which I really appreciated. I chose an engineering field because I found real-world problem solving, especially if it can help improve people’s quality of life, to be very fulfilling, and an engineering education gave me the chance to pursue that.
What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?
My favorite organizations have been the American Association of Drilling Engineers, AADE, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE, because they have given me the unique opportunity to interact with industry professionals on campus and at professional conferences.
What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?
My favorite course I’ve taken is drilling. The instructor who teaches the course, David Cole, has a wealth of industry knowledge which made the class especially relevant to my upcoming professional career.
Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course?
The most challenging course I’ve taken is reservoir engineering II. In this course I learned that hard work really does pay off. The concepts covered in reservoir engineering II did not come easy to me, so I had to put in a lot more time and effort to understand the material well.
What is one thing you have learned, related to engineering, during your time in the Bagley College of Engineering?
I have learned how cross-disciplinary engineering is. Even though petroleum engineering seems very niche, it was surprising to see how much crossover there is with other areas of engineering, such as chemical engineering.
How has MSU and specifically the Bagley College of Engineering prepared you for professional life after college?
MSU and the courses I’ve taken within the Bagley College of Engineering have prepared me by teaching the technical skills necessary to solve complex engineering problems. The classes taught within the petroleum engineering department are especially industry-applicable. I’ve found myself using direct skills developed in my classes throughout my summer internships where I worked with upstream oil and gas.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be joining Chevron as a Wells Engineer in Houston, Texas with their Mid-Continent Business Unit.
What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?
I will miss the relationships I’ve built with fellow students and professors. I have been studying with the same group of friends and taught by the same professors since freshman year. Considering the size of the petroleum engineering department, it is a very tight-knit group of individuals. I will certainly miss the lasting friendships I’ve made here at Mississippi State.