Tom Standish

St. Thomas MBA Propels Engineer to Executive

Trained as an engineer and moving into a regulatory area of CenterPoint Energy in the 1980s, Tom Standish, MBA ’84, decided to go back to school for a Master of Business Administration. He chose the University of St. Thomas to gain a stronger background in accounting and finance, and now, he is executive vice president at CenterPoint Energy.

The liberal arts and professional curriculum of UST’s Cameron School of Business gave him the training he needed to rise through the ranks.

In his executive role, Standish evaluates long term, strategic options from both an operations and financial perspective. Successful investments and performance of the company depend on having the financial skills necessary to make good decisions, as well as being able to clearly communicate ideas and concepts.

“Having a vision for the future is important, but if it cannot be told in a way that others believe in it and are motivated to follow it, then nothing will happen,” Standish said.

The executive said when pursuing a master’s, he wanted a school that combined financial knowledge with an ethical approach to business in a convenient location.

“UST’s program is a great combination of learning skills with a strong emphasis on morals,” he said. “The location of the school near downtown was also a plus.”

Standish served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2002-2008, and he has also served as a keynote speaker for the Cameron School of Business Alumni Week.

“Both as a member of the Board and when I have been asked to speak to students, I am continually impressed with quality of the faculty and students,” Standish said. “There is an energy and eagerness to learn. When I’m on campus, it’s easy to see why UST produces such high quality graduates.”

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