After completing his undergraduate education at Baylor, Ryan Malone, BSME ’02, has worked his way through the ranks at bp America’s Upstream division, currently serving as the head of Capital Projects for the company’s U.S. Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and Canada business units.
He serves as Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) for those business regions, helping steward key initiatives to increase value and cash flow, facilitation of agile techniques to his teams, the deployment of digital assets and oversight of initiatives to help lower bp’s carbon footprint in the United States.
Despite his substantial business commitments, Malone still finds time to serve as a member of Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science Board of Advocates.
Malone shared his thoughts on leadership, his work experiences and his time at Baylor:
Q: What leadership roles have you been able to hold during your time with bp?
A: I’ve been fortunate to lead multiple operational and projects teams during my time at bp America. I’ve been the head of multiple deep-water projects, led our global subsea organization accountable for all of bp’s global subsea business and led a team to engineer and set up the construction of one of the industry’s largest and most complex offshore facilities.
Q: How did your experiences at Baylor shape you for your current professional career and the leader you are today?
A: Baylor shaped me into a well-rounded, introspective and faith-first individual, which paved the way for my continuing development towards servant-style leadership. Both inside and outside of the classroom, I feel that Baylor stresses the importance of relationships and connecting with people which both are foundations for strong leadership development.
Q: How have you seen the Baylor School of Engineering and Computer Science evolve over the years – from your time as a student and now in your role as a member of the Board of Advocates?
A: When I joined the School of ECS, it was a very new and emerging school within Baylor and certainly on the national stage. The evolution in terms of size, offering and national and global recognition is notable and has evolved at a fairly rapid pace. Our Baylor ECS students now have a wealth of opportunities to impact our society on a global scale, and I have been incredibly impressed by the diversity of thought, background and academic pursuit that I’ve witnessed at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Q: What are some of the challenges facing young alums who are entering the field and looking at your successes as a potential example to follow?
A: The global technical landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate, with numerous opportunities for impact and advancement, and a seemingly endless set of career options. This is a great opportunity, but also a challenge to make sense of the options and turn the right one into a self-fulfilling career. The best piece of advice that I ever received was to stay true to your personal aspirations, goals and dreams, and do not let those be swayed or undermined by the endless options and opportunities that are competing for your mental space which can become distractions. Stay true to yourself.
Q: What motivates you in your professional career?
A: Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is helping people. Titles, positions and career accomplishments are fleeting and often forgotten, but the impact that you can have on a person’s career and potentially even their life is lasting and fulfilling. I get out of bed every morning, motivated to lead teams so that I can help the teams, collectively, and members of those teams, personally.
Q: Is there one book that you have read that has impacted your leadership style or life in a significant way?
A: I find a lot of leadership learning through reading biographies of historical and current figures, and probably beyond the standard leadership 101 books available. If I had to pick one, it would be Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. President Lincoln was a remarkable leader and a singular force that kept our country together during a turbulent time. In looking for divine guidance, assembling the best minds to argue and debate unprecedented situations and decisions and an ability to support those he trusted, he saved our country.
Q: Have you kept any mentors or contacts at Baylor that you still call on for leadership or professional advice?
A: The list is too numerous. It includes professors, friends, fraternity brothers and many others. I also continue to learn so much personally and professionally by serving on the ECS Board of Advocates. I learn from the faculty, staff, students and professors with whom the Board interacts, and I learn and grow tremendously from my interaction with Board peers. I really enjoy keeping in touch with Dr. Ken Van Treuren who had a huge impact on my learning and development while I was a student, and still offers great advice and perspective through our interactions.
Q: What do you wish you would have known when you graduated Baylor and entered the field?
A: I wish I would have known the freedom of choice that an individual possesses to make a mark on society and help and influence people in an authentic and personal way. I wish I would have been bolder in challenging norms, growing my leadership, spreading impact in areas where I could contribute and being more restless in pursuit of leadership and spiritual growth. Never lose sight of the path that God has chosen for you – I lost sight more times than I care to count – and trust the bold moves and impact that comes through trusting Him.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: I am just so proud to daily fling my green and gold afar, and am amazed at the growth and strength of Baylor’s global reach since I graduated. We have sound leaders stewarding this institution. That leadership, strategy and vision attracts the best student and faculty talent, which serves to continuously strengthen the brand and impact of an institution that we all love. I encourage all students, faculty and alumni to wear the BU as a badge of honor, representing all the good we know comes with being part of this family.