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Oklahoma State University
Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement (CAGLE)

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

January 2019 - Graduate

Bill Pickering


Our international student of the month for January is Bill Pickering and he is from Okotoks, Canada. In Canada, they have provinces, not states. Okotoks is in the province of Alberta. It is a large town nestled in the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and surrounded by lush ranching country. It is a pristine and well-manicured town that hosts the provinces best football rivalry. Okotoks resides near Calgary, the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the hub of Canada’s energy industry, and the world’s largest rodeo. When discussing his upbringing Bill commented, ““I was born in a town called Saskatoon in the heart of Canada’s agrarian powerhouse, Saskatchewan (Sas-katch-a-won). I spent my childhood and teen years moving around western Canada chasing Drilling Rigs - my father’s vocation - before I settled in the foothills town of Okotoks. It’s not just the musical city names of Oklahoma that are reminiscent of my region of Canada; we have been called Canada’s Bible Belt, and the people are just as friendly and welcoming at home as they are here. It’s no stereotype to say most Canadians grow up with skates on their feet and a hockey stick in their hands. Most kids start hockey at five years old – which we colloquially refer to as TimBits, our word for what American’s call Donut Holes, taken from our nationally coveted franchise of coffee shops: Tim Horton’s (yes, Tim Horton was a famous Hockey Player).”

Bill is a full-time master’s student in Business Administration. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in English and History from the University of Alberta in 2014. He then returned to the Drilling sector of which he said, “I’ve experienced a great deal of my region – an opportunity afforded by my career in Oil and Gas working on Drilling Rigs. I’m a second generation rig worker and will be the sixth generation to operate our family farm in Saskatchewan. More than anything, I love the reward that comes at the end of a hard day of honest labor. Knowing at a very young age that I wanted to make oil my career, America has never been far from my thoughts when considering my future. I researched Big 12 schools for my MBA and submitted my application to OSU quickly thereafter citing the rich community in Energy and the incredible interactions I had with alumni and University Staff during the process. I’ve only just arrived in Oklahoma, though I can see why the lucky people who call this home are such a positive group.”

Best memories/experiences at OSU

On his time at OSU so far Bill says, “OSU is highlighted by a campus with unrivaled beauty, and a rich populous of students who draw on that to charge their positivity. Before my first month had elapsed nearly every member of my program had taken the time to introduce themselves, usually followed up with a wholesome invitation to visit their homes, offers of a warm meal, or in the case of the lovely staff in the Graduate office, endless offers of assistance and possibly the best cookies in the world (Thanks again Carol and Deb!). I am looking forward to the chance to get involved with the graduate association, intramural sports with my new colleagues, and whatever new opportunities will surface with my new-found core of friends.

Accomplishments and Hobbies

Bill is currently the President of the MBA Association. He is working as a graduate assistant at the CAGLE Study Abroad Office under Dr. Jose Sagarnaga. In addition, Bill says, “When I’m not cracking borderline off-color jokes and struggling with Accounting assignments, you can expect to find me taking in a book or a documentary about oil patch history, hunting waterfowl, or yelling at the TV as my Edmonton Oilers lose another Hockey Game.”

When describing what defines him, Bill talks about his country: “We may be your quiet neighbor to the north, but do not mistake that for us being meek. Canadians are fiercely proud. We cherish our abundant nature and the sea to sea to sea beauty that envelops every corner of our incredible nation. We treat others with a deep respect, and we open our homes and communities to outsiders with a world class level of egalitarian hospitality; we are always eager to share what little or what lots we have. Specifically, western Canadians, have never lost their frontier spirit and are passionate about their individual liberties and their ability to endure.”

  • Bill Pickering
  • Bill Pickering
  • Bill Pickering
  • Bill Pickering
  • Bill Pickering