October 31, 2014

Today’s petroleum engineering students search for more than classroom lectures and laboratory experiments in their quest for a degree. Networking skills and professional contacts are key to preparing future graduates, especially in the competitive field of petroleum engineering. Increasingly, student organizations, such as LSU’s Society of Petroleum Engineers, are providing social and professional connections similar to those in the professional field.

“The best part about SPE is meeting industry professionals and being able to ask what role they play in their company,” said William Cole, SPE social chair. “Speakers range from sales representatives to CEOs, so it’s great to see what spectrum of careers are available for petroleum engineering grads.”

SPE Sophomore Representative Devin Samaha promoted numerous networking opportunities the organization offers as a benefit toward career development.

“Most students join SPE for a chance to mingle with industry professionals in hopes of making a lasting contact, which may blossom into a future job,” said Samaha.

Students like SPE Secretary Clarke Brockman find petroleum engineering an attractive career field in the Gulf South, particularly with Louisiana’s booming oil and gas industry.

“The economy of Louisiana is saturated with oil and gas. Around a sixth of all hydrocarbons produced in the U.S. today comes through Fourchon, La., from the Gulf of Mexico and refineries line the Mississippi River,” Brockman explained. “Petroleum engineers are vital to ensure that safety, efficiency and responsibility are held to the highest standard in the production of our natural resources.”

SPE members also recognize the petroleum industry’s influence on Louisiana’s economy.

“If you take a look at the job market, particularly in the Gulf South, it’s impossible to overlook the saturation of oil and gas jobs, as well as those jobs created for supporting roles. The oil and gas industry isn’t just a staple here, but it is the foundation that much of our economy is built on,” Cole said.

In addition to the attractive paycheck petroleum engineering jobs may offer, students like Brockman decide to study petroleum engineering in order to address energy challenges.

“With a petroleum engineering degree, I can find new and challenging experiences working in the most important field in the world as it expands to fuel the ever-growing need for energy,” he said. “I joined SPE to learn practical knowledge of equipment and technologies used in the field today, while also networking with companies actively recruiting at LSU.”

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Article by Danielle Kelley, LSU College of Engineering communications intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, 225-578-5706 or mlavall@lsu.edu.

 



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