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To Islander and any big oil/gas player

#1 To Islander and any big oil/gas player
14/03/2007 21:45


Dear Islander and other oil/gas players,

I came across your post and while I can't offer much advice (I am still a mere student), I would be really interested in your views on this:

I am an engineering student and I have just been offered jobs by Shell and BP. Eventually, I would like to follow a path similar to yours, move to challenging project-based roles, get an MBA and possibly join a consultancy later down the line.

I would really appreciate if you, or anyone, could tell me what they thought about the following:

1. Which one of Shell or BP is better to join in terms of career prospects, mobility, variety of assignments and investment in career development (by that I mean where am I more likely to get MBA funding?)

2.What kind of projects/experience should I make sure to get under my belt in order to be able to follow the path outlined above?

3. Is it easy to move from one to the other if I make the wrong decision?

4. How long do people usually stay with one company in the sector?

Very long post and lots of questions, I know but I would really appreciate any thoughts on any of these points.

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#2 RE: To Islander and any big oil/gas player
07/04/2007 00:48

anon to johnny (#1)

this is of interest to me too.

any insight?

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#3 RE: To Islander and any big oil/gas player
07/04/2007 11:26

O&G to johnny (#1)

Which roles and divisions are your offers for at Shell and BP?

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#4 RE: To Islander and any big oil/gas player
24/09/2007 02:21

johnny to O&G (#3)

BP offer in mechanical engineering offshore and Shell offer in Petroleum engineering. Any insights?

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#5 RE: To Islander and any big oil/gas player
24/09/2007 14:57

oiler to johnny (#1)

Both are EXCELLENT places to start your career, and both hire many ex consultants and produce many experienced consultants. In either case your grad scheme should take you around 2-3 different areas in your first 3 years. Try to mix this up - get some enginnering experience, but more importantly try and get some feel for commerical aspects aswell - project economics, asset valuations teams etc. This blend of technical and commerical will set you up nicely - not only for a faster progression within Shell/BP, but also externally with the consultancies, who will ALL rate experience with the supermajors as a real asset. MBA wise more likely to get funding from BP and Shell but only after about 3 years, and there is increased preference for part time MBA's. In consultancies you will get funding for full time MBAs after 2-3 years, only if its MBB.

In terms of which is better to join. BP is much more commercially active, more deals going on, more aggressively growing, and very interesting strategic partnerships and alliances - eg TNK BP in Russia. However the downside is its going through absolute turmoil internally with a poor handover from Browne to Hayward, and endless fallout from the Thunderhorse debacle. People are all sharp and more commercial/ professional feel to the business

Shell - perhaps slightly overbloated company with 3 people to do every 1 persons job. Everybody has an opinion as to how things shoud work, so very intellectual atmosphere, with the downside that very little actually gets done. Little deal activity in recent years due to stated organic growth strategy. You can get alot of responsibiltiy very quickly, but change is very slow.

Exxon is by far the leader in all measures on any KPI.

Location is the other issue. Shell - HQ in Netherlands - increasingly fewer jobs in London, BP HQ in London. However as an Engineer you are likely to be sent to Nigeria/ Russia/ Oman/ Kazhakstan no matter which company you join so be prepared for this.

Last thing i would say is watch out for the age/ gender profile. Average age in these companies is 40+ and dominantly male, compared to consultings 28-30 - so make sure you network strongly to find your age peer group and balanced mix.

Energy is a fascinating place to be right now - so congrats and best of luck.

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#6 RE: To Islander and any big oil/gas player
24/09/2007 16:09

Johnny to oiler (#5)

Very helpful answer, thanks a lot for your opinion

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#7 RE: To Islander and any big oil/gas player
25/09/2007 15:41

Anon2 to Johnny (#6)

I would say the industry is facing some significant challenges and could affect the very core of thier business model: namely that I intend to buy a carbon-hostile gas guzzling range rover vogue for my 30th birthday and intend to drive the perverbial cr*p out of this in the coming months, so there better be a plentiful amount of oil out there to satify my unquenchable thirst!

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