Meet Leon Spencer III, born and raised on the South-side of Houston, Texas. Leon obtained a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Texas Southern University (2014), and a MBA in Supply Chain Management from the University of Houston-Downtown (2016). Leon currently works in the Downstream Oil and Gas Sector as a Category Manager; where he develops spend management strategies to deliver value back to the supply base in the form of cost savings/cost avoidance with a focus on challenging processes and ways of working to do things faster, smarter, and more efficient. This role falls under the Contracts and Procurement umbrella within Supply Chain Business Function.
"I've created this genre of success consulting to tackle the challenges I encountered during college and my struggles of getting into my first career role."
Although this may seem as though everything worked out in his favor, life for Leon has not been a crystal stair, this has been the result of his dedication, hard work plus patience.
Leon's story starts off growing up in the Southside of Houston Texas where graduating from high school or going to college was rare amongst peers. Luckily for Leon, He was blessed to be raised by both of his parents as a happily married couple in a single household that kept him out of the streets, and focused on his education.
Prior to the end of High School in 2007, every student got asked this question at some point: What college do you want to go to and what do you want to study? Without hesitation, I looked to my best friend as he responded "Pharmacy at TXSU" and said, "yep, Pharmacy at TXSU". Even though Leon had no idea what that required, he was down for the cause.
Within the first year, Leon experienced shock and awe as his best friend switched his major after the first semester, leaving Leon with a lot of figuring out to do with his education, and what that meant moving forward. He decided to switch his major to Psychology which didn't work out after an additional year with his GPA hovering around a 2.7. Without any advisement of career options, Leon recalled when he got injured playing football in High School and going to Physical Therapy where the Physical Therapist was getting paid to tell him what to do and thought, "Who wouldn't like a job doing that? F*** it, I'm down"
Prior to taking on his new major in Biology/Chemistry, Leon became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc in the spring of 2009. From that point, his GPA began to slowly increase as he became more involved in organizations on campus such as the Student Government Association (SGA) and Collegiate 100 Black Men of America, where he rose in the ranks securing the positions of Comptroller of SGA, VP of Development for the Collegiate 100, and Basileus of the Tau Epsilon Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc (2012). "Being involved on campus was equivalent to having your ear to the streets, I was the first to know of all scholarships and opportunities to take advantage of prior to my peers which gave me a competitive advantage with some internal politicking to seal the deal for my success".
As Leon's collegiate career progressively came close to an end, he increased his GPA to a 3.19, won multiple academic scholarships valuing over $20,000~, and was voted the SGA President at Texas Southern University while being elected the National Undergraduate Representative of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc (2014). Throughout his involvement on and off campus, Leon developed a passion for business unexpectedly as he was the leader for 9,500~ students on campus and 20,000~ undergraduates of the fraternity internationally. "Leading the fraternity and managing a budget with deliverables, stakeholders, and operational issues really taught me In's and Out's of a business, as the skills were easily transferable to running my own personal business".
All was good except his career placement strategy upon graduation. Leon's GPA wasn't competitive enough to go to Physical Therapy school (3.5+). He didn't do any college tours, internships, shadowed a Physical Therapist, or even knew the credentials he needed to even apply. He didn't have any guidance on what to do or how, which ultimately led to him developing another opportunity for himself leveraging his newly developed business mindset. "Anyone can easily go from being the man on campus, to being a nobody in the real world"
Without a plan upon graduation and denying the idea of working front line at a Walmart or similar job, Leon attended a session at the University of Houston-Downtown where they marketed their brand new dual degree MBA's with concentrations beginning in the fall of 2014. Out of all of the majors described, Leon found himself automatically sold to the Supply Chain Management (SCM) concentration after hearing the potential for unlimited opportunity in the list of areas to work that falls under SCM. Leon enrolled and began his new career swap. While doing so, Leon became strategic with an attempt to avoid making the same mistakes he made in undergrad. He maintained a 4.0 GPA his first semester which enabled him to leverage his GPA to apply for internships in his field in which he secured his first one as a Supplier Diversity Intern for Southwest Airlines based out of Dallas, TX for the spring semester (2015). While going to Grad School full time, Leon flew back and forth from Dallas to Houston every week for class in the evening to return on the first flight the following day to be at work for 730 AM over the duration of 1 year, being away from friends and family. "I was applying for undergraduate internships as a grad student and persuading the company's that they would get a MBA performance level at undergraduate pay while accepting $10.50 per hour".
While Leon persevered through the MBA program at UHD, all of the internships he landed ended with no job offers, but experience to leverage the next potential opportunity. During his last semester (2016), Leon landed an internship with Shell Oil Company based in Houston, TX. As he worked and delivered value, Leon was offered a full time role in Shell's Graduate Rotational Program based out of New Orleans, LA. Without hesitation, Leon accepted the offer to build his professional experience as a Logistics Analyst supporting Deep Water Project Operations in the Gulf of Mexico (2017). After consistently delivering and being recognized as a high performer at work and externally in the Supply Chain profession internationally, Leon leveraged his success, performance, and relationship built with his prior manager in Houston to move back and accept a role as a Category Manager for Motiva Enterprises LLC (2019 - current).
"Through it all, If I would have known back then what I know now, I would be farther in life than where I currently am".
Thus, Tomorrow's Monday is my gift to the world of those who choose to be strategist; being proactive to grab their future by the horns. I want to help coach you on the lessons in life that aren't taught in the classroom, but are learned through life's experience, and are critical to being successful.
- Leon Spencer III
Click below to view Leon's experience and accomplishments via Linkedin