Shantona Shahid applied to be a field engineer with SLB. Instead she was offered a process engineering role. As a recent graduate in Chemical and Process Engineering, that suited her just fine. “I had never imagined getting this position! I did not know it even existed here.”
Hired in the UK in August 2019, Shantona’s first experience was a five-week training program in the USA where she mixed with people from all over the world and from an array of backgrounds and product lines.
Next, it was straight to the office to get to work. At the Valves and Process Systems division in Gatwick, UK, Shantona’s schedule was filled with computer-based work and hands-on technical experience. “I am loving the chance to apply the baseline knowledge that I gained at university. Also, the team have been so welcoming by providing multiple training sessions on lots of different topics. I’m able to grow and learn, and to draw on their experience to enhance my understanding.”
Shantona’s team works with Monoethylene Glycol (MEG), a chemical used to reduce the formation of pipeline-clogging hydrates. “I learned about the technology during my training. Doing this work allows me to see the equipment and process drawings come to life.”
Shantona is amazed by how many people she has met from all parts of the globe in such a short time. “Just in the training school, we had individuals from England, Scotland, Malaysia, Qatar, Kuwait, Canada, the US, Colombia, Norway and Germany, and that was a classroom of 13 people!”
Has being a woman in the industry complicated things? “I am working in a predominately male office, and I have faced only the normal challenges that all new graduates face adjusting to the working world. My advice is: Don’t be put off by negative experiences others have had. You never know what your story will be.”
Now that she’s been immersed in the company for several months, Shantona sees the array of job roles available. “Today, I’d say to potential recruits: Be ready to go wherever your strengths take you. This is a massive company. Keep an open mind to all potential job opportunities and seek out things you are interested in.”