As Chiara has happily discovered, a career path at Schlumberger is typically not a straight line.
Chiara is here to tell you, when you come to work for Schlumberger, the degree you carry through the door is only the starting point. In her case, she finished university in Italy as a geoscientist with a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and stepped straight into training as a wireline field engineer in Egypt. From there she started doing verification and validation hardware testing of tools manufactured at the Schlumberger Riboud Product Center (SRPC) in Clamart, France. Later, she was invited to join the Formation Evaluation Interpretation Engineering group in a role that involved a whole new area of expertise—software.
No problem! “Business needs required someone who could understand field requirements and develop software. I accepted the challenge and learned coding,” Chiara says, matter of fact. With the support of her manager and colleagues, plus some training, she was soon creating and maintaining full software applications.
“I learned to code in C and C++ as required, but I soon realized that grasping one programming language is not enough,” Chiara recounts. “The challenge is to be able to jump from one language to another as required.” She is also learning more about petrophysics and geology to better serve as the interface between petrotechnical experts and the project team.
All in a day’s work, which typically involves writing or reviewing code, developing application interfaces, and collaborating with colleagues to define software requirements and validate final products. She also provides support to field users, which makes her early field experience doubly valuable.
Chiara and her spouse both work regular weekday hours at SRPC, which has allowed the dual-career couple to manage a busy homelife with young children. “Flexible scheduling is an important component of the company’s culture,” says Chiara. “We both try to be very effective during the workday so we can avoid bringing work home.”
When you join Schlumberger, you become part of the “Big Blue” family, says Chiara. Her advice for new employees? “Take advantage of the diversity. Be open minded. Learn as much as you can from others, and make your own contribution by respectfully expressing your thoughts and sharing your knowledge.”