Getting Your Foot In the Door: A Summary
Written by Roberto Paredes, Edited by Sriniketh Sukumar
On February 21, 2019, TAMU-SPE hosted it’s inaugural workshop featuring unconventional methods of kick-starting one’s career, and was of valuable importance to our members. “Getting your foot in the door in the Oil and Gas Industry” was presented by our esteemed speakers, Mr.David Hamilton from Denbury Resources, Ms.AlexSandra Martinez from DeGolyer and MacNaughton and Mr.Ivan Mith from BP, who shared their personal stories and experiences on how to overcome the seemingly many obstacles students encounter while looking for employment opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry. More specifically, the workshop focused on how to find jobs and internships despite having low GPA, or in times of undesirable market conditions.
The speakers started by highlighting key principless that every student should follow before ever handing out a resume to a potential recruiter. The first such principle emphasized was to make sure your resume is free of any grammatical errors and misrepresentations. Also, your resume must look clean and concise, Mr.David Hamilton added. If you are ever in need of advice on creating, proofreading or modifying your resume; The Texas A&M Career Center offers services to help students. More information can be found by visiting their website at https://careercenter.tamu.edu/resources.
Your resume is how you advertise yourself; when writing a resume pretend it’s a big billboard on which you will be advertised. Make it unique and incomparable to other resumes. Mr.Ivan Mith recommended using all the resources available to you. He shared his personal story on how he built his resume, noting “I purchased a subscription from https://enhancv.com until I found a job, the money I invested was well worth it”. He stated that many companies have complemented his resume and many employers had categorized his resume as “one of the best resumes they have seen.” Mr.David Hamilton also stated the importance of advertisement, “Make business cards and hand them out, take your self seriously”.
If you are worried about your GPA being an obstacle you can take a breath of relief, as many companies do not have GPA requirements. However, you should always explain why your GPA is on “Recovery mode”. Recruiters love to hear inspiring stories and will often remember people who have to work harder than others to achieve the same goal. An important factor that will likely overshadow your GPA is your past work experience; even if it is not related to the Oil and Gas Industry, Ivan Mith stated. Companies often value the work ethic that students develop while being employed in any type of job/internship.
Now let’s suppose that you were not so lucky during the career fairs, and you do not have any work experience; the first thing you should do is take a deep breath and evaluate your options. Many opportunities lie on the side of the road, and yes literally on the side of the road. During the workshop Mr.Hamilton repeatedly stated, “Drive down HWY 21 and you will see multiple service companies, get your resume ready and go knock on some doors.” Companies love to see motivated people that are willing to take action on their own. Also, it shows your spontaneity and willingness to go the extra mile. If you get the chance to speak to an employer, make sure you express your willingness to start in any position. Even if that position is mowing the lawn Mr.Hamilton said. I’m sure we all have seen Oil and Gas companies while we drive. Take note, research the company, and go pay them a visit! They could be the key to your dream job/internship.
If you enjoy socializing with people, your ticket could be hidden in a scholarship banquet or SPE social. You can meet industry people who could potentially have leverage with multiple companies at these events. All you need to do is check your corresponding school website, https://www.spegcs.org or JP oil magazine for upcoming events; make sure you wear your Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering Department T-shirt/hoodie! That way everyone knows that you attend one of the best universities in the world; Remember Aggie network is very strong, and can be a powerful tool that you can use to your advantage.
In summary, some of the most important takeaways from this workshop are as follows:
Be yourself when speaking to potential employers
Be open to commit to any kind of position to start out with. Dozens of very good students have been known to begin as field interns/ frac hands
List and elaborate your experience on your resume
Ensure your resume has been proofread several times and is free from any error
Identify value in an opportunity, but more importantly, add value to any role you take up
Make business cards
Take yourself and your career seriously, and work diligently towards achieving your goals!
We’ll leave you with this motivational quote, which holds especially true in this context.
“You missed 100% of the shots you don’t take” -Wayne Gretzky