Naveen Jindal School of Management Alumni Spotlight

From real estate to healthcare management, to information technology and finance, we are proud to shine a spotlight on some of our alumni whose career paths are representative of the many employment options to which a degree from the Naveen Jindal School of Management can lead. With more than 29,000 alumni, the Jindal School is impacting the culture of business in the U.S. and beyond.

The following JSOM graduate agreed to have his information posted. If you are an alumnus and willing to share your information, please contact Caroline Mandel, Assistant Director, Development Communications and Donor Relations.

Eugene Murray, MS’03 President, W&M Environmental Group, Inc. With more than 30 years of experience in environmental consulting and two degrees in geology, Eugene (Gene) Murray, president of W&M Environmental Group, Inc., intended to take just one statistics class to further enhance his business skills. But after one class, Murray discovered the numerous benefits of a Jindal School education and decided to pursue a master’s degree. Now more than 10 years later, Murray still considers his Jindal School experience a wise, unanticipated investment in his business and in himself.
Gene and his daughters celebrate New Year’s Eve outside Buckingham Palace on a recent family trip.
Tell us a few highlights of your professional career.
As president of W&M Environmental Group, I manage both the day-to-day operations and the strategic focus of the firm. Our motto is: “We get projects done,” and I take that focus to every aspect of the company. As a licensed geologist, I still get out and work in the field on occasion, but my main successes during the past few years have been on the business side, thanks in part to what I learned at UT Dallas.  

One such success that I am very proud of is our company was recently named to the “2014 Hot Firm List” by ZweigWhite, a business-development firm that specializes in enhancing business performance for architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms. This annual list recognizes the 100 fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms in the United States and Canada. Rankings are based on a survey of industry firms. We were honored to be included at No.32 on the list.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
I already had a couple of degrees in geology from other universities (bachelor’s degree in environmental earth science and a master’s degree in hydrogeology), but I wanted to take a business-statistics class to help better my skills. My original intent was to take that one class, but I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, so I took another one, and another one until eventually I had to get serious about completing a degree. Although I didn’t start with a degree in mind, it was a great decision to complete it.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
I enjoyed the professionalism of the professors. They all had a theoretical base, but the professors I remember the most, had practical experience as well. The lessons I learned that combined both theory and practice have helped me in growing the businesses I’ve been involved with since my time at UT Dallas.
Who was your favorite professor, and/or what was your favorite class and why?
Michael Davis, former senior lecturer in economics. My background is in geology, so this course helped explain in quantitative terms how supply and demand could make pricing predictable and logical.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I play golf at Canyon Creek Country Club or anywhere else that I can get a tee time. I enjoy hanging out with my college-age daughters and my wife of 30-some-odd years.
What advice do you have for current students hoping to succeed in the business world?
Get an internship if you can. I hire a lot of college graduates, and throughout the last few years, I have seen so many high-quality graduates that I have to look for ways each applicant has distinguished him- or herself…It’s not enough to just get good grades and a good education. A potential employer needs to see experience in the field that you’ve chosen.
What makes an effective leader?
A clear vision. An effective leader must communicate a vision in a way that is understandable to each team member. That way the team knows what they can do to contribute to the success of the venture, and the leader then confirms alignment with the vision. Ultimately people want to know they are working for more than just a paycheck.