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Campus Celebrity | Robert Joseph Wyrick

When asked what one of his biggest goals in life is, senior petroleum engineer Robert Joseph Wyrick effortlessly replies.

“I want to make energy more available to everyone, responsibly and economically,” Wyrick said.

Wyrick knew coming into Texas A&M exactly what he wanted to do with his career path, and unlike us other envious collegiates, Wyrick has stuck with it through all of the ups and [gas at $2.32/gallon] downs.

As a member of Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Drilling Engineers, Aggie Gulf Coast Fishermen, and MSC FISH (Freshmen In Service and Hosting) Wyrick is heavily involved at Texas A&M with leadership positions in more than half of the organizations.

On his resume, Wyrick has names like Anadarko Petroleum, Energy XXI, and Oasis Petroleum that he has interned for, and after discussing his post-graduation plans, there’s no stopping him.

Recently, this born and raised Texan got to experience the semester of a lifetime halfway across the globe when he earned a spot in Texas A&M’s study abroad program at Texas A&M University in Qatar. Amid his very busy schedule, we got a chance to sit down with him and hear about his amazing experience.

Her Campus: When did you first decide to study abroad, and why did you choose Qatar?

Robert Joseph Wyrick: I love to travel, so I pretty much have always had my mind set that I would study abroad somewhere at some point in my life. I chose Qatar for multiple reasons; the fact that Texas A&M has a campus there was really convenient since it didn’t change my degree plan at all. Also, the types of reservoirs in the Middle East are the complete opposite of what we produce oil and gas from here in America, so I thought it would be an interesting perspective to gain from an engineering standpoint. 

HC: When did the program start?

RJW: The day I left for Qatar. January 5th, 2015.

HC: What was it like leaving America for so long?

RJW: It was pretty much as different as it could get and hard to sum up concisely. When going abroad, you’re prepared and excited to experience a new culture, but you don’t think about the little things. For example, not recognizing any of the brands in the grocery store or having to stay up until 4 a.m. so you and your friends can stream the Super Bowl on your laptop, since they don’t play it on TV. It was an amazing opportunity that really allowed me to grow as a person, and I’m so glad it happened.

HC: Did you ever get home sick?

RJW: I’m really close with my family, so of course at some points. Thankfully, with the technology we have today, it is easier than ever to still be connected, even when you’re over 8,000 miles away.

HC: What did you miss the most from America?

RJW: Mexican food…by far, and barbeque. You can leave it up to a couple of Texans who are in the Middle East for 5 months to go and eat at the only Texas Roadhouse in Dubai, which hit the spot.

HC: What were some cool things you got to experience on the trip?

RJW: One of my favorite weekends had to have been when we went dune bashing in the Arabian Desert and saw an amazing, deep red/orange sunset over the dunes while we got our campsite ready. The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful pink and blue sunrise over the Persian Gulf. I also was presented my Fightin’ Texas Aggie ring by the dean of Texas A&M University at Qatar at their ring ceremony (WHOOP).

HC: What is the most bizarre experience you had?

RJW: I met a member of the Qatari royal family and he took me for a ride in his gold BMW…can’t make that one up.

HC: Did you get to travel anywhere else while on that side of the world?

RJW: Thankfully, we were able to travel pretty cheap since the travel hub of the Middle East (Dubai) was less than an hour flight away, so we really got to explore the whole region. We went skiing in Dubai, fishing, hiking, and camping in Oman, saw the Dead Sea and Petra in Jordan, and spent spring break in Germany and Italy. I couldn’t have asked for more.

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