Electrical engineering grad shares the secrets to ExxonMobil success

By Virginia Speirs

Published: Feb 16, 2021 3:55:00 PM

When Dewayne Sanders first came to Auburn University, he never imagined he would become president of his fraternity, co-op with Southern Company or one day work for one of the largest private companies in the world.

Today, Sanders is continuing his 30-year engineering career with ExxonMobil and says his Auburn education was a solid foundation for the career he was able to build. 

“My fondest memories [of Auburn] are with the people that I met,” Sanders said. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in terms of my development. When I came to Auburn, I was an extremely shy kid, and through my interactions, I did a lot of growth and development of myself.”

After graduating from Auburn in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Sanders moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to work with ExxonMobil as an instrument and electrical engineer. After five years he was transferred to Baytown, Louisiana, to provide instrument support to the Baytown Chemical Plant. Sanders currently lives in Houston, Texas, and works as a process control technology leader for ExxonMobil.

According to Sanders, his Auburn education not only prepared him to be an engineer but gave him invaluable experience from learning in a diverse environment, which provided him with the life skills he has used throughout his career.

“What I found is that the diversity of my experiences has, in a lot of ways, contributed to the strengths that I have,” Sanders said. “It taught me how to be an advocate for people who may not be able to be an advocate for themselves.”

Sanders said that he is impressed specifically by the Academic Excellence Program at Auburn, which is designed specifically for underrepresented students studying in the College of Engineering. He suggests that students know, meet and work with people who come from different backgrounds in order to grow their knowledge and experience.

“The advice that I have is that you should learn to meet people and be friends with people, have a diversity of friendships and just be with people who may do things differently than you,” Sanders said. “Learn from people who have different experiences and come from different backgrounds than you do.”

Media Contact: Chris Anthony, chris.anthony@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

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