LSU Graduate Manages IT Customer Experience in Latin America for ExxonMobil
BATON ROUGE - LSU graduate Ashleigh McCord's connection to computers started when she was a little girl. She received her first computer from her grandfather when she was three and McCord's parents worked with computers and IT. Today, McCord is the IT Customer Experience Manager for Latin America at ExxonMobil.
Where are you from? What did you study at LSU?
I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I majored in Information Systems and Decision Sciences. My grandfather gave me my first computer at age three, my father helped run the data centers for the State of Louisiana and my mom ran IT for a local real estate company – so it was a no brainer that I’d follow in their footsteps.
Why did you attend LSU?
I was born and grew up in Baton Rouge, so my entire life I was a Tiger. There was no question that this is where I wanted to go.
Favorite places on campus? Favorite experiences?
Many of my favorite times at LSU were during my student co-op. I worked for the College of Business during my entire school period. That’s where I worked for Wendy Marx, the Director of External Relations for the E. J. Ourso College of Business. But, I made so many lifelong friends there and it was the place I figured out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I worked with people from Asia, Central and South America and I grew as a person as well. I had gone to the same elementary/high school for 15 years, so while LSU was close to home, it was an amazingly diverse experience.
Did you do any internships while a student at LSU?
I did the Disney College Program in Orlando one summer which was my first time leaving Louisiana. Here, I happened to live with another girl from LSU, and another from Brazil. I worked with people from all over the world and this was life-changing for me. Later, I did a summer internship with Dynegy in Houston. ExxonMobil didn’t accept me that summer, haha!
After graduation, where did your career path take you?
After graduation, I immediately moved to Houston to start my career with ExxonMobil. I took the skills I learned from LSU and hit the ground running. I’ve spent 16 years with ExxonMobil and this is my 9th job with them. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to 70 countries and live in Hungary and Argentina.
What do you do now?
Today, I manage IT Customer Experience for Latin America (we manage local IT in all countries south of the U.S. and help with the enablement of new locations like Guyana) and am also the IT Manager for Argentina, where we have around 350 associates. Here’s a video of some of my team: https://youtu.be/dwhssDD-GXo.
What is it like living and traveling around the world?
Meeting and learning about people around the world makes me, me. I think some of my early days at LSU and Disney helped me to open my eyes to understanding people who are different, think differently, act differently, believe differently. Learning about others helps me understand more about who I am and what is important to me. I think it’s so important to understand others and take a step in their day to day.
Do you ever meet other Tigers while working in different parts of the globe?
When I first moved to Buenos Aires, I was the only expat in IT. I knew there were a couple of others with ExxonMobil in other business lines, but that was it. I was so shocked to learn that there were two other expats from LSU here – Sean Hansen and Kyle Silvio. We immediately met up for dinner and football parties. It’s so nice that when you travel the world and step out of your comfort zone to find a piece of home every now and then.
How has LSU helped you in your career?
LSU taught me the fundamentals and foundation of how to learn – how to keep pushing myself to grow and to develop. It taught me the basics of my career but more importantly taught me how to think and manage like a business leader.
Any classes that stand out to you?
More the teachers than the classes – they cared, they took the time after classes to meet, they were passionate about what they did and about us learning.
Is there something you learned during your time at LSU that you still use today?
Some of the key things I remember were all around data and statistics. All of that has translated into a passion for using data to make decisions on a daily basis.
Why should others attend LSU?
LSU is a great university that provides a solid educational foundation for a rewarding career.
Is there anything you want people to know about you, your career or your time at LSU?
I do photography on the side, primarily wildlife. I typically travel to Africa every year for safari. The one tie to LSU is I took a landscape architecture class where the professor often talked about national parks and appreciating life outdoors. One small thing that stayed with me.
Another thing is that for the past several years I have been the recruiting team captain for ExxonMobil at LSU. I’m passionate about bringing Tigers to XOM with us in Houston, and we’ve had a really good success with our graduates – they are smart, they work hard and they are fun!
Contact Rachel Holland
LSU Media Relations