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oil & gas industry mba recruiters

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oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2010, 02:13
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Hi everybody,

I am going to apply for 2011 mba. I have a MSc degree in petroleum engineering from Delft university, the Netherlands. Now, I have 5 years of experience. After MBA, I will get back to the same industry.Therefore, Does anybody know that major oil & gas recruiters, like Shell, Schlumberger, Chevron, Exxonmobil, and BP, from which B-school recruit their most MBA graduates?

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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2010, 03:34
Chevron, Exxonmobil, and BP for sure recruit at the top 5 (perhaps the top 10, im not sure). The others I'm less sure on.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2010, 03:58
Texas, Rice, and SMU for those outside of top 15.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2010, 06:02
Expert's post
You may want to read
Riverripper's Guide To Energy: riverripper-s-guide-to-energy-76849.html
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2010, 12:56
send me a pm if you want...I interned in O&G but will not be returning. There are a lot of opportunities and they really depend on what you want to do. I would aim for top 10 schools, I know for a fact that some of the companies who recruit from Top 10s and also from schools like Rice, SMU etc...pay top tier grads much more. With your background you will probably have your choice of company.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2010, 14:04
I have heard that major companies (BP, Chevron) actively hire MBAs. But service companies such as Schlumberger do not really look for MBAs unless it is for their consulting department. Hope this helps.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2010, 08:11
riverripper wrote:
send me a pm if you want...I interned in O&G but will not be returning. There are a lot of opportunities and they really depend on what you want to do. I would aim for top 10 schools, I know for a fact that some of the companies who recruit from Top 10s and also from schools like Rice, SMU etc...pay top tier grads much more. With your background you will probably have your choice of company.


To Riverripper, why did you decide not to return? Oil & Gas Corp. Finance/Gen Mgmt. is on my radar but I am not sure that I'll get the accelerated career trajectory I am hoping to have after my MBA. What is your impression of the industry? Is it possible to make VP in 5-8yrs? What's the pay like? How comparable is it to investment banking? Many thanks.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2010, 20:45
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Never going to make VP in 5-8 years...more along the lines of 20 years for most people. There are some super rare exceptions who make vp 10-15 but those are small groups, sometimes smaller than a manager in terms of responsibility and even pay. Titles mean nothing, a global manager with 20 years in could out earn a VP at most companies by a lot. The pay is rather high and there are advancement opportunities, but its far from a sure bet. Lots of people will reach a level and never move beyond, but even so they will earn a very comforable living. Not going to make IB money but then again nothing outside of finance fields will pay that on average but then again you will be working 40-50hrs a week...though if you make SVP at an oil company you could earn 8 figures.

Culture leaves a lot to be desired at a lot of oil companies, the work wasn't exactly what I wanted to do and honestly Houston was not a place I would want to live for 30 years. Flexibility is huge for them, if you aren't willing to do what the company wants it will really limit your career. That could mean 3 years working in Nigeria, taking jobs you have no interest in. I wanted a more straight up GM/ops management role and that was not something really offered in oil. In the end it was definitely the right decision not to go through with it...the function I will be doing is much more exciting for me and after a lot of discussion with my wife, friends, and family it was clear that what you do for work should trump working in an industry you find interesting. The work you do is much more important I think than the underlying interest you may have...I loved the industry I used to work in but that passion didnt translate the job.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2010, 09:49
Thanks for that advice riverripper. I've had similar reservations and thoughts about the energy industry, and it was good to hear from someone who was at the center of it.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2010, 14:19
I'll chime in with River's observations here. For somebody who has never worked in the oil business, the conservative culture might be little touch to get used to (or maybe thats just the Californian in me talking). That said, I will say that most folks I work with are nice people. The pace of work is rather slow at times and it takes a lot to get the wheels turning, but that probably is due to the sheer size of the organizations. One will move around globally if they want to reach to the next level. Staying in one location will limit your potential on the corporate ladder. As far as pay goes, they pay well (not amazing) if you're in the US. If they send you somewhere as an expat, your compensation package will be aweome (Chev's Bangkok deal is to kill for, from what I hear). The assignments/oportunities you will get in the industry will be truly global in nature and you will have some very interesting multifaceted (techinical/economic/political/climate) problems to solve. I doubt any industry can match that.

My experience has been in engineering/project management on the downstream oil side, but have met folks in up/downstream who have shared similar stories.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2010, 14:43
riverripper wrote:
Never going to make VP in 5-8 years...more along the lines of 20 years for most people. There are some super rare exceptions who make vp 10-15 but those are small groups, sometimes smaller than a manager in terms of responsibility and even pay. Titles mean nothing, a global manager with 20 years in could out earn a VP at most companies by a lot. The pay is rather high and there are advancement opportunities, but its far from a sure bet. Lots of people will reach a level and never move beyond, but even so they will earn a very comforable living. Not going to make IB money but then again nothing outside of finance fields will pay that on average but then again you will be working 40-50hrs a week...though if you make SVP at an oil company you could earn 8 figures.

Culture leaves a lot to be desired at a lot of oil companies, the work wasn't exactly what I wanted to do and honestly Houston was not a place I would want to live for 30 years. Flexibility is huge for them, if you aren't willing to do what the company wants it will really limit your career. That could mean 3 years working in Nigeria, taking jobs you have no interest in. I wanted a more straight up GM/ops management role and that was not something really offered in oil. In the end it was definitely the right decision not to go through with it...the function I will be doing is much more exciting for me and after a lot of discussion with my wife, friends, and family it was clear that what you do for work should trump working in an industry you find interesting. The work you do is much more important I think than the underlying interest you may have...I loved the industry I used to work in but that passion didnt translate the job.


Thanks for your reply River; it's much appreciated. I am seriously considering the oil & gas industry but almost everyone I have spoken to so far has given me the glossy rah-rah-rah overview. I have a few more questions if you don't mind:

In terms of pay, what kind of numbers are we talking about here? Of course, no industry can match Finance in terms of pay but with the large loans most MBA grads incurr, there is a lower limit to acceptable pay. What's the typical package like for fresh MBAs and what's the typical pay profile over 20yrs?

Is it advisable for MBAs without engineering backgrounds to recruit for oil & gas companies? From some of your previous posts on the subject, I understand that career options for those with pure finance backgrounds are limited (if they can get the jobs in the first place). Does this still hold true? Does a finance-type MBA have the same career options within the Majors as his/her colleagues with engineering undergrad backgrounds?

I don't really mind the travel but I am absolutely terrified of signing-up for a dead-end job with less-than stellar exit options.

Again, thanks for your insight.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2010, 21:30
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If you want GM then being a former engineer is nearly a requirement at many companies. There is definitely a big preference for that background...though it is possible to get in out of other areas. Finance background is very good if you want to go into a finance program at one of the companies.

Pay ranges from normal with strong bonus and raise potential to about the highest base salary you will see for a position. One super major has a higher salary point than consulting firms. You can make a lot of money at some of them. Other programs pay far less, some even under market. It depends who they typically recruit, if they are going to Top 10s the pay reflects that if they are going to local schools it can be below average if you are at a top school. Pay can vary by program at some companies, though finance would be on the high side. Ball park would be 90-95k on the low to 145k on the high.

If you dont advance much and just keep on doing a decent job but never get a bunch of promotions you will make a comfortable living so thats not a worry...if you reach executive level the pay can be extremely high. I know a few people I met with over the summer drove some very nice cars and lived in huge houses...so the potential to own a bentley is there even if you dont make CEO. But once you are in the industry unless you leave quickly you most likely will spend the next 30-35 years there...if for no other reason than pensions and deferred stock grants might make it impossible to leave. I heard about the golden handcuffs from several people, they said think long and hard about starting a career there since you most likely will be there forever unless you are willing to give up a huge amount of money.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2010, 04:51
riverripper wrote:
If you want GM then being a former engineer is nearly a requirement at many companies. There is definitely a big preference for that background...though it is possible to get in out of other areas. Finance background is very good if you want to go into a finance program at one of the companies.

Pay ranges from normal with strong bonus and raise potential to about the highest base salary you will see for a position. One super major has a higher salary point than consulting firms. You can make a lot of money at some of them. Other programs pay far less, some even under market. It depends who they typically recruit, if they are going to Top 10s the pay reflects that if they are going to local schools it can be below average if you are at a top school. Pay can vary by program at some companies, though finance would be on the high side. Ball park would be 90-95k on the low to 145k on the high.

If you dont advance much and just keep on doing a decent job but never get a bunch of promotions you will make a comfortable living so thats not a worry...if you reach executive level the pay can be extremely high. I know a few people I met with over the summer drove some very nice cars and lived in huge houses...so the potential to own a bentley is there even if you dont make CEO. But once you are in the industry unless you leave quickly you most likely will spend the next 30-35 years there...if for no other reason than pensions and deferred stock grants might make it impossible to leave. I heard about the golden handcuffs from several people, they said think long and hard about starting a career there since you most likely will be there forever unless you are willing to give up a huge amount of money.


Wow! Thanks River. I am pretty shocked at the golden handcuffs bit... no wonder the industry has a recruitment crisis. I can imagine that a lot of younger people struggle to make a 5yr commitment to one employer. 30-35yrs?!! Oh dear, the thought of it makes me dizzy. Again, thanks River. That's one industry definitely crossed off my list.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2010, 16:31
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Guys I have over 5 years of industry experience (gas commercial and corporate development roles), and I would recommend everyone interested in this field to hear River´s insight, since the guy is quite on the money.

From my point of view, I would like to give the pros and cons regarding a career in Energy (Oil & Gas @ major integrated):

Pros:
- Relative job security, specially strong compared to industries like banking and consulting.
- Nice pay: among industry recruiters at least.
- "Strategically Relevant" work: at new business/ commercial roles you get to work on projects that are prone to have great impact on the given region.
- Life/ work balance: in most post-mba roles you can get away with working 9-6 most days.

Cons:
- Slow progression: while it depends a lot on you and on which company do you work, I would dare to say that O&G careers are one of the slowest out there. It´s not strange to have to wait five years or more before achieving managerial roles. Director and Cxx roles are even more challenging, that is, if you ever make it there.
- Difficult locations: as almost anyone knows, oil and gas are located is some very dire regions such as Western Africa, Off shore locations, Iran/Irak, Central Asia, etc... And this, coupled that you have to show "commitment" with the company and the industry, are one of the biggest drawbacks. It´s highly probable that you will be asked to relocate to any of those regions in order to progress within the company.
- "Signing for Life": one of the things that are most overlooked by people that peruse a career in O&G is that, once you join the industry, it will be very hard to leave it in the future. The obvious reason is that it will be difficult to land offers that match the money that O&G pay, and I think that skills/knowledge that you gain in the industry are not so easy to extrapolate to other industries. Another draw back is that the market is pretty small also.
- Hard to progress if you don´t have a technical background. This is another purely personal appreciation. If you don´t hold an industry relevant degree (geologist, chemical/ mechanical/ petroleum engineer) chances are that you are going to be outplayed by your colleagues. I find it much more easy for someone with an aferomentioned background to acquire "business" skills than for someone without that background becoming "technically savvy".

Well, those were my 2 cents.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2010, 06:38
Hello Nick,

I am a Mechanical Engineer with no background knowledge of oil/gas industry. I work as a application developer(S/W) with a European giant. But I want to join oil/gas industry after my MBA. After reading through your post, I have become sceptic.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2010, 20:31
interesting posts guys. i too am a chemE and have played with the idea of recruiting into the industry. you're right about the pay relative to other industry jobs (as an example, a kid from my undergrad got an offer for about 80k right out of undergrad vs. the 60k that other engineers got).

that said, i'm not sold on the industry as a whole, nor do i want to move overseas in order to make my career progress faster than a crawl. i'm definitely going to keep gen mgmt on the radar, though, but i'll likely focus on other industries.
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Re: oil & gas industry mba recruiters [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2010, 04:06
Just wanted to point out that, although my posted sounded a little bit too harsh, I´m not saying working in the O&G business is not interesting. I just wanted to talk about some points that most poeple overlook, but I still think the industry has some interesting traits, and I haven´t disrcarded following my career there after getting (if I get in!) my MBA.
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Re: Oil & Gas Industry MBA recruiters [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 07:05
It has been a pleasure reading the posts under this topic. I am in the offshore industry (upstream oil side) and applying for MBA for Fall 2011. I would appreciate some feedback. For the last 8 months I have thinking that maybe it's just me who is not sure where he wants to go with an MBA. Eventually I realized that a lot of people are unsure.

I have a 3 year Diploma in Marine Engineering, followed by 4 years of offshore experience on Super Tankers and Container ships. This was followed by 2 degrees, a BS and MS in Naval Architecture from a US school. I am currently working for an engineering class society (owners get their ships/offshore structures registered with us by designing and constructing these vessels to our standards and rules), and our clients include - US Navy, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Petrobras etc. I am into Engineering and Project management work for the upstream side, involved with Offshore Floating units that operate globally. The company has 70% of the world market share.

I am looking at an evening MBA at a local school in Houston (JGSB at Rice Univ). I am looking into an MBA to accelerate and shift my career to Business Development / Corporate Management from the more engineering focused work that I currently do. In a nut shell I have a bunch of engineering degrees, 4 years engineering field exp and about 3 years engineering office exp. I am 30/male. One of the issue that keeps bothering me is the kind of work/job I can expect in the O&G industry after I get an MBA.

Would appreciate views / feed backs. Thanks.
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Re: Oil & Gas Industry MBA recruiters   [#permalink] 12 Aug 2010, 07:05
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