A Global Campus: Moscow Memories Fuel Regard for Russia
April 19, 2010
By Victoria Bouloubasis — This article was originally published in the alumni magazine Team Fuqua.
Bruce Dingeman’s experience in the oil and gas industry has made him a ubiquitous presence throughout the business world and a global ambassador for Duke. Over the past few years, as his career became more internationally focused, Dingeman (Global Executive ’03) has remained a strong supporter of Fuqua and its global strategy. He plays an integral role in building Fuqua’s ties in Russia and elsewhere.
An engineer by trade, Dingeman’s interest in international business issues piqued during the Global Executive MBA program, and has been at the center of his career since. Upon graduation, he was promoted to Corporate Planning Advisor at LUKOIL, a global oil and gas company based in Moscow, Russia.
“During the MBA program I gained firsthand experience in dealing with global markets and with colleagues from around the world, which later helped me adjust to working and living in Russia,” Dingeman said.
Before moving to LUKOIL, Dingeman worked at Phillips Petroleum Company as an engineering and evaluation manager. In 2002, nine months into his MBA program, when Phillips merged with Conoco Inc., becoming ConocoPhillips, Dingeman’s technical role at the company quickly shifted into the role of investment appraisal manager, where he facilitated the processes needed to gauge the value of oil and gas investment opportunities.
“That directly related to our finance and decision models coursework at the time. I was able to directly apply coursework as I was learning it with this job change,” Dingeman said.
After serving in the role for three years, Dingeman moved on to LUKOIL, but in 2009 he returned to the U.S. and to ConocoPhillips as Global Chief of Reservoir Engineering. Dingeman now lives and works in Houston, TX, though he still travels internationally to places including Australia, China, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
Throughout his career moves, Dingeman still found time to connect with Fuqua, like attending his 5-year reunion and vacationing with former classmates. He noted that “it’s interesting how with the Duke program, you build lifelong relationships, whether business acquaintances or friends.” Even while in Russia, Dingeman found ways to connect with fellow Dukies by participating in a hockey team with another Duke alumnus. He was also pivotal in recruiting executives to speak at the 2008 Duke MBA International Retreat held in Russia.
Dingeman is continuing his involvement and support of Fuqua by engaging in discussions about the school’s global strategy. He’s offered suggestions on how to best market the program in Russia, including the pros and cons of various media options.
“My Fuqua training in international business coupled with my Russian experience served me well when offering thoughts and suggestions to the Dean and his staff about Fuqua’s Russian entry,” Dingeman said. “For example, there’s strong demand for high quality business education in Russia and yet there’s an overall shortage of programs. So, there was an obvious fit for Fuqua; however, most successful ventures involving foreign institutions include Russian partners. Therefore, I was very pleased and supportive of Duke’s decision to partner with the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University. Local participation is critical to navigate the cultural and political barriers in Russia.”
Expertise in region is equally critical to navigating those local nuances, and Dingeman said he was pleased to offer such support to Fuqua.