February 2, 2016, by Anthony Casaus, Development Officer, via email
Blas Piña, Director of Fuels Trading for Constellation Energy Gas Choice Inc., and College of Business alumnus, spoke to the Financial Management Association student organization January 28, 2015. Piña has worked for Constellation Energy for several years in Houston, Texas, as a financial trader.
His background as an energy management professional spans twenty-eight years in deregulated and regulated gas markets including twenty-three years of experience in wholesale and retail gas supply management. His natural gas supply experience includes active management of all facets of the supply chain across wholesale, industrial, commercial, and mass markets.
A Las Cruces native, Piña earned his Bachelors and Masters in Finance in (’85, ’88) and began his career in energy in a management trainee program for MBAs at El Paso Natural Gas Company. Throughout his career, Piña has worked primarily for Fortune 500 companies and major corporations such as El Paso Natural Gas, Unocal, Shell, Cinergy, MXEnergy, and Constellation Energy.
Piña’s job responsibilities have included hedging the company’s book of business and speculating the energy markets for the company. Piña spoke to the finance students about the concept of hedging and addressed low- and high-risk environments in trading. He attributed his knowledge and understanding to classes he took in finance at New Mexico State University and to faculty like Lowell Catlett who recently retired as Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Piña said he has spent many years studying finance, reading books on how markets work, networking, and having a positive mindset.
He shared an example of a homeowner who buys a home and has to consider interest rates that may go up, down, or remain the same. In addition the homeowner considers premiums and insurance coverage that include fire and flood. He explained a corporation goes through the same thought process in relation to low risk and high risk.
Piña shared his “Piña Plan” that covers successful interviewing techniques such as appearance, confidence, enthusiasm, communication skills, positive attitude, and a positive mindset. He stressed it’s important to be well informed of the company interviewing you and to ask informed questions of the interviewer.
Piña also shared a slide picturing a hunting lion. The lion says, “I either win or I learn.” Piña pointed out the lion never says he failed or went hungry. Failure is all about learning; you either learn or you win.