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Anisha was finishing a Master of Information Systems degree when she came across Schlumberger at a career fair at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. It was the first time she gave serious consideration to joining the energy industry.
Anisha’s specialization, Machine Learning, is emerging in a lot of industries, and she already had an offer from a major finance firm in New York City. “I gave that up for Schlumberger. I knew nothing about the industry; I just knew Schlumberger was international, very large, very technical, and had high recruitment standards, and I figured I’d have to know geophysics or geology. I did not know it was so advanced in software and analytics.”
Round one of interviews led to an invitation-only three-day Women In Technology event, and soon she was hired, straight into the Subsurface Data Science team at the Houston Technology Center.
As a Machine Learning Engineer, Anisha develops and tests applications for the Seismic domain. It’s work that demands a precise scientific approach and clear thinking, which is exactly how she approaches each day. “I start by making a prioritized list of deliverables. Then I determine when my productive hours are going to be—free of meetings and answering emails. This helps clear my head.” Day-to-day deliverables include running experiments, reporting results, and meeting with stakeholders.
To her delight, Anisha has found a truly supportive environment. “My efforts are always acknowledged. My career progression is examined and rewarded in quarterly reviews, and I am encouraged to write technical papers and patents so that I am credited for my ideas.”
Sharing and learning are constant themes in Anisha’s experience. “Schlumberger is community driven. There are lots of ways to teach, learn and share your ideas and work.” Monthly meetups bring together machine learning teams from centers around the world, and Anisha shares her findings in-house with an online special interest group. Externally, she is committee chair for the Machine Learning Group at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and vice-chair of the Data Analytics Group for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Gulf-Coast Section, “I joined to learn how other companies are using machine learning to solve various business use cases. It’s been a fast-paced, rewarding journey since then.”
Anisha has found an attitude of openness at Schlumberger. “My manager allows us to present to management and key stakeholders. He encourages us to be at the forefront, answering and asking questions to maximize our confidence and learn about the product lines.”
Anisha is part of the Associate Training Program, which prepares employees for roles beyond their technical domain. She studied Project Management, and has also learned about borehole imaging and field operations. “Schlumberger provides a plethora of options, all managed through a system that maps the training we take externally to build our portfolio of skills.” Anisha has honed her time management skills, and learned to guide technical project meetings and formulate scientific problems better than before.
A standout moment from her first couple of years at Schlumberger? “It has to be the patent that I submitted entitled Cascaded Machine-Learning Workflow for Salt Seismic Interpretation. I’m proud of that.”
Anisha has no doubt she made a good move that fateful day at the campus career fair. “There are a lot of interesting and competitive technologies being built in the industry when it comes to digital solutions, and Schlumberger happens to be at the forefront of the digital transformation in the oil and gas industry—so it’s definitely a place to be for data scientists.”