2015 Best EMBA: Freddie Barela

Freddie Barela

Freddie Barela


Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business

Freddie Barela had a vision for himself. And that’s why he made the four-hour commute from Oklahoma City to Dallas every other weekend for the Executive MBA program at SMU’s Cox School of Business. Turns out, it was worth it, as he was recently named a partner at Canaan Resource Partners. And he attributes this to his MBA. “I feel that my experience at SMU Cox gave me a competitive edge, and helped me better prepare for my new role. I am extremely grateful.” Outside of work and school, Barela is a marathon runner and a member of the Young Professionals in Energy.

Age: 31

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Family Members: Freddie and Janie Barela – Parents; Jennifer Reyes – sister; Josh Reyes – Brother in law; Frankie Barela – Twin brother; Kassadie Barela – Sister in law; four nieces and nephews

Undergraduate School: Texas Tech University

Undergraduate Degree: BBA with emphasis on Energy Commerce

Where are you currently working? Caanan Resource Partners

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I knew I wanted to go to business school when I was no longer being challenged in the work place. I felt that I had reached a ceiling with regard to my current responsibilities. I wanted the EMBA to prepare me for management and additional opportunities. It has already exceeded my expectations as I was recently given an opportunity to be Partner at Caanan Resource Partners.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I…would not have been given the opportunity to be a part of my new organization, Caanan Resource Partners. I feel that my experience at SMU Cox gave me a competitive edge, and helped me better prepare for my new role. I am extremely grateful.

What are your long-term professional goals? My long term professional goals are to continue to grow and evolve professionally and work for a successful organization.  I want to be a part of an organization where I can grow and develop, and more importantly help others grow and develop. My current organization is giving me that opportunity now.

Favorite Courses: Organizational Behavior, Executive Leadership, Negotiations, Legal, and Mergers and Acquisitions

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I am proud to have been given the opportunity to serve as the leader of Rockies Land at Chesapeake Energy Corporation. I was able to lead during a time of a complete transformation of Chesapeake Energy and restructuring of the Land organization.

Currently, I am honored to serve as Partner at Canaan Resource Partners, where I will be given the opportunity to make business decisions and help a very talented and experienced organization grow.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would most like to thank my parents for my success because they instilled in me a strong worth ethic. We never had much, but we always understood that hard work and determination will pay off. Additionally, they have provided continued support along the way.

I would also like to thank Jeff Pinter for having a big influence on me during my time with Chesapeake Energy. He was who I reported to my last few years there.  He is a true leader and defines the phrase, “leading by example.” Jeff supported my goal of completing my EMBA as I led a fantastic group of individuals in the Rockies Land group.

Lastly, I would like to include on my thank you list Chris Doyle, Executive Vice President of the Northern Division at Chesapeake Energy. From day one, Chris showed his support of the SMU Cox EMBA program because he was a graduate- turned-professor at Rice University. Chris took time to get to know me and understand the program and its significance for a future business leader like myself. Chris illustrated the importance of good leadership and leading by example every single day.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? I chose the SMU Cox EMBA program after researching several graduate schools. I discovered that the SMU Cox curriculum and staff were a perfect fit to help me enhance my current career and accomplish my future goals.  Additionally, I was looking to join a top-tier program that provides a strong networking base and support to its students while I continued to excel in my company and industry. The SMU Cox EMBA program gave me that opportunity. It’s the only top-ranked program in the area and the three-hour drive or 45 minute flight to Dallas is convenient and well worth the commute time from Oklahoma City.

What did you enjoy most about the executive MBA program? I have most enjoyed the value brought by my classmates. Their experiences and successes are all discussed in the classroom and are all invaluable. I believe this is a key component of what separates the EMBA program from other graduate opportunities.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? My most memorable SMU Cox EMBA moment was our international business trip to Chile and Peru. It was an incredible learning experience to see how other cultures collaborate and collide with the American culture. It made me appreciate our great country, and it also served as a great bonding experience for the 2015 EMBA class.

Fun fact about yourself: I was 2005 Homecoming King of Texas Tech University.

Favorite book: Good to Great

Favorite movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Favorite musical performer: George Strait

Favorite television show: House of Cards

Favorite vacation spot: I don’t have time to travel much, but I really enjoy Chicago and any beach.

What are your hobbies? I am an avid runner. I also really enjoy reading, working out, and spending time with my friends and family.

Twitter Handle: @freddiebarela1What made Freddie such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015 for your executive MBA program?

“Freddie Barela, SMU Cox EMBA ’15, has been instrumental in building a relationship with his former company, Chesapeake Energy, and the Cox EMBA Program.  Whether in facilitating senior management visits to campus to discuss current industry trends, or Cox EMBA staff to his corporate headquarters for customized lectures, Freddie has been an advocate of the program. Even as a commuter student (traveling from Oklahoma City to Dallas every other weekend), he has bonded with his classmates and taken advantage of extracurricular activities on campus and in the DFW area. Inside the classroom, Freddie adds value not only as a contributor reflecting on his work experience, but also as a supporter of his classmates and their personal development plans. In one of Freddie’s letters of recommendation for admission, his manager described Freddie this way: “Freddie is the type of person any program would be proud to have represent them.” Without a doubt, the Cox EMBA staff, professors, and his fellow students would all agree that they are proud to have Freddie Barela represent the SMU Cox School of Business.”

– Tom Perkowski, Assistant Dean of SMU Cox Executive MBA Program

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