Student Blog Post: Networking is Everything
I became a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers my freshman year of college, but I wouldn’t have considered myself an active member.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I started getting involved. When I joined, I was unaware of all the benefits that SPE had to offer, but as I got more involved, I quickly figured out there was a lot I was missing out on.
As a sophomore, I did the bare minimum with SPE. I attended the meetings but rarely did anything outside of that. Those meetings did help me build crucial relationships, however. I didn’t realize the importance of those relationships until I got further into my petroleum classes and realized there were few people that I didn’t recognize. Our classes were not easy, but these people that I knew through SPE were the ones I was leaning on to help me with the difficult parts in my classes.
I decided I wanted to get to know them even more and that a great way to do this was to become an SPE director; so junior year I became director of marketing. After a successful year as director, I took a big step and ran for vice president. I won the election and knew that I wanted to focus on getting freshmen involved so they didn’t miss out on anything in SPE.
The first opportunity was the Deepwater Symposium in New Orleans. SPE at LSU sent officers and members to this symposium to volunteer, and we had a great turnout, even though it took place on the first three days of school. I contemplated skipping this event so I did not miss class, but as a new officer, I knew that I had to participate in this symposium, and I am so thankful that I did. While there, we were able to explore the exhibition and network with all of the companies present. We all took advantage of this opportunity and met some great people and learned about the many new technologies in the oil industry.
Beginning senior year, I had not had an internship yet, and I had no job offers. I was on a constant search and becoming discouraged, as there were very few people that were finding jobs at this time. A couple months after school started, I received an email from Schlumberger stating that they wanted to become more involved with SPE at LSU. I responded with the many ways they could participate and quickly got a reply asking if I wanted to set up an interview for an internship. I could not believe what was happening. I set up an interview and soon after, accepted an offer as a field engineer intern. This was all too good to be true.
I found out later that the Schlumberger recruiter had gotten my contact information from someone that attended the Deepwater Symposium. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much SPE has really done for me. It increased my knowledge about the oil industry and prepared me to comfortably talk with many companies in the industry. I would not have gotten this amazing internship if I had not been so involved with SPE.
Being a member has many benefits. I wish that these were more widely known and that I had known of them as a freshman. I strive to make these benefits known. I believe that the networking opportunities SPE provides are the biggest benefit in the oil industry because networking is everything.
By Megan Martter, a senior petroleum engineering major and geology minor from Las Vegas