2020 was a unique and challenging year around the world. What’s it like starting work in the energy industry in the midst of a global pandemic? Our newest field engineer trainees (FETs) reflect on their highlights and challenges from their recent training and share how their experiences have shaped their future goals.
“My twin brother joined Schlumberger first, and I quickly became envious of the training he was receiving,” says Chris, a FET based in Scotland. “And, at the time, the company I was working for would not take into consideration my suggestions for improving processes. That’s when I realized I wanted to be part of Schlumberger. Here, I feel like my ideas are valued and that the company is fully vested in my success.”
For Victoria, based in Ecuador, Schlumberger’s commitment to continuous learning for employees sparked her interest the most. “I studied chemical engineering, which is such a diverse field on its own—I could have gone on to work in food processing or polymers. But I felt the energy industry offered the broadest range of technical domains and career choices. Knowing I wanted to work for a company where I could continuously learn new things and answer different challenges, joining Schlumberger was the best choice for my career.”
Hafidz, based in Malaysia, echoed Victoria’s thoughts: “I’ve always admired the development program that Schlumberger offers to recent graduates like me. I knew the job setting and requirements would not be easy, yet every challenge is an opportunity to grow.” In addition, Hafidz likes the hands-on work that comes with being a field engineer. “The job I’m training for is physical, analytical, and hands-on, and that’s the type of work I like. I’ve discovered that my personality fits the Schlumberger culture, where people are proactive, self-directed, and take initiative.”
“What attracted me to Schlumberger is workplace diversity,” Yasmine, who is based in Hassi Algeria, answered. “The fact that we hire people from all around the world to work all over the world. Our innovation thrives because of our diversity of talent and diversity of perspectives.”
“Almost overnight, the courses were available for us virtually, and they were identical to the coursework at the on-site learning center,” says Chris. “Their content was just as rigorous as when I was physically in school, and I feel I can return to the field without having missed anything.”
Through the transition to online learning, Chris also found support from his colleagues: “Even though I’d never been on base, I was not afraid to reach out to other people in the company—even people I hadn’t met yet—with my questions. I’ve found that people in Schlumberger are always willing to help you out if you ask.”
Victoria was also impressed by the nearly seamless transfer to online training. “The onsite learning centers quickly worked out the logistics of offering our training using interactive platforms. As my background is in chemical engineering, this was a valuable experience for me to challenge my mindset while I gained more industry-specific knowledge. I also became more adaptable and learned how to improve my communication while working with international colleagues.”
“We had virtual workshops and video sessions in which the instructors showed us the important components and functionalities of the tool, and I was still able to learn how to operate our technology in a virtual environment,” added Hafidz. “I also have a greater appreciation for the company’s culture of knowledge sharing. In one class, for example, I met an engineer with more than 20 years of field experience who willingly shared his knowledge to help our group solve field problems, and I’m grateful to him for helping me understand some complex concepts.”
Yasmine acknowledged the challenge of such a drastic shift. “At first, it was difficult to stay focused while at home, because there are so many distractions. However, the instructors—they were simply outstanding! They kept us on track by putting a lot of effort into explaining thoroughly and creatively new practical concepts that we couldn’t see and experience first-hand.”
Yasmine also spoke about how before the lockdown she “bonded like a family” with her classmates. “So, when we were sent home, we still had that support system to rely on. The support from both my classmates and the instructors made the transition go smoothly. I kept telling myself, if we did this as FETs, we can do anything."
“I will focus on my personal growth and development, and I hope to someday instruct future trainees,” said Chris. “In the long term, I want to become a leader in the future of our industry, looking at net-zero carbon emissions, process efficiency, utilization of modern technology, people retention, and, ultimately, creating the most value from each of these.”
Victoria, who appreciates that Schlumberger values continuous learning and improvement, wants to always challenge herself. “The investment in people and technology is what drew me to working here. I like to learn about how different technologies are used in different parts of the world for their different environments.”
Hafidz also has his eye on international opportunities. “For now, I want to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible working in the field,” he said. “In the future, I am looking forward to becoming a technical expert in my domain and to working internationally, if I have the opportunity.”
Like the others, Yasmine also hopes to focus on self-development. “I am focused on giving it my all and gaining as much knowledge as I can. And in the future, I hope to have the opportunity to experience the diversity and the different cultures that make Schlumberger what it is. I know that exploring new locations outside my comfort zone would challenge me to discover my own potential.”
Learn more about early career opportunities with us.