Weatherford International, a multinational oilfield service company, recently welcomed students to their Oklahoma City Equipment and Technology Expo. The event provided educational and networking opportunities for college students from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.
Colby Warden is currently studying architectural engineering at OU and finds events like this valuable in charting his future.
“One little thing can catch your eye and change your entire path,” he said. “You can also meet someone who will give you the opportunity to do something you never imagined.”
Attendees were invited to explore more than 30 exhibits showcasing the latest technologies in energy exploration. Exhibit sizes and subjects ranged from full-scale drilling equipment to cloud technologies developed by Google and IBM.
Weatherford Product Champion Brad Zukiwsky was on hand to introduce attendees to the MagnusÔ Rotary Steerable System, which combines reliable, high-performance drilling with precise directional control. He sees events like this as key in teaching students the importance of advanced technology.
“It’s great exposure for them to see how and why the future of the market is in directional drilling and automation.”
Liz Arthur made the trip from Golden, Colorado where she currently works for Weatherford Labs. She appreciates seeing students from a variety of disciplines consider the oil and natural gas industry as an option.
“If you went to school, or are attending school for one thing, it doesn’t limit what your future could look like,” says Arthur. “I’ve been in in this industry for over 13 years, which is crazy, because in school I actually studied music. The beauty of oil and gas is so many of us started out doing one thing, fell into this industry and stayed because we love it so much.”
Arthur emphasizes that while there are a million great resumes out there, students can set themselves apart by having a good attitude and making as many connections as possible.
Drew Fazzino, a senior at OU majoring in mechanical engineering, jumped at the chance to gain industry exposure and get a better feel for which opportunities are a good match.
“These events are really important, because you want to see what you’re getting into before applying to a bunch of different jobs,” said Fazzino.
Ross Powell, Technical Sales Manager and Student Liaison for Weatherford, pointed out some high school students who were also in attendance.
“I’m encouraged by it. They mentioned this event is helping them choose a future college major,” he noted.
Powell believes it’s important to connect with students early so they can see how the industry has advanced far beyond what outsiders might realize. He personally grew up in the oil patch and had an outdated perception of oil and natural gas.
“My advice for those still in school is to go in with your eyes wide open and research what you want to do,” says Powell. “I’m thankful to have landed in this industry. I love it, and it’s a lot more exciting than what I anticipated.”
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