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RiverRipper's Guide to Energy

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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 15:54
mbafwi wrote:
anyone know if you can work on alternative energy projects for the big oil companies during the GM rotation, or do they want you working oil? i know most of them have some projects going on...

I know that plenty of the alums working at oil companies that I have talked to have done some work on projects. Whether it was a rotation, or several year assignment after they exit programs. One thing you need to realize is these alt energy at oil companies are not profit generators...so they might not be as big of a boost to your career as working on a highly profitable project.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 16:09
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refurb wrote:
Care to comment on the cyclical nature of the oil industry?

My father worked for a major oil/gas company in Canada and we had to relocate a couple times. When times were good, the money just flowed, but when oil prices dropped a lot of people were laid off and offices were closed and consolidated.

Relocation in most careers is something you need to be willing to do. However, oil companies are running much more lean than they did 10 years ago and like you said they have done a ton of consolidation. ExxonMobil currently employs about the number of people Exxon did alone when they merged. So this means that they eliminated the number of folks as Mobil employed. Layoffs of the MBA types doesnt seem to happen nearly as much, its harder to bring on a contractor in these areas and talking with alums at oil companies very few in their ranks were let go even when companies were making massive cuts.

I am not too worried about job security. If you look at the age distribution of employees in the ranks where MBA's go, it is filled with a lot of people who are within 5 years of retirement. This provides not only to good job security but also lots of higher level places for people to advance into.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2009, 16:23
Thanks River and lsuguy for your comments!

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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 07:12
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Just so you know the thing about relocation in the Energy field has less to do with relocation and more about learning the core business. If you really want to move your way up through the upstream ranks spending some time in Africa (or Australia for gas), business development in Asia, or some gulf of mexico activities helps out a lot. So if your goal is to be the CEO of an energy comany you really need to know the ins and outs of the business. If you want to be a commodities trader, you can get away with just working in Houston or some time in London but it won't be necessary.

For the most part people relocate because they want to not because they have to.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 07:18
What do you guys think are the best MBA programs to get into energy companies in bay/houston area? I am thinking of UT and Rice as their first base to recruit from
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 07:57
lsuguy7 wrote:
Just so you know the thing about relocation in the Energy field has less to do with relocation and more about learning the core business. If you really want to move your way up through the upstream ranks spending some time in Africa (or Australia for gas), business development in Asia, or some gulf of mexico activities helps out a lot. So if your goal is to be the CEO of an energy comany you really need to know the ins and outs of the business. If you want to be a commodities trader, you can get away with just working in Houston or some time in London but it won't be necessary.

For the most part people relocate because they want to not because they have to.

From what I have heard from pretty much every alum I talked to and all the recruiters. Overseas is very important to your career in most positions within the oil industry. As lsuguy7 stated, if you want to move up you need to have a broad view of the business. So it may not be required but if you dont want to hit a ceiling if your area typically has folks go overseas...well then you better want to do it. Most of the older alums in GM type careers I that talked to did at least a few years overseas at somepoint. That said, ex-pat life in the oil industry is supposedly a great thing. The packages and career opportunities are amazing.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 08:02
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spiridon wrote:
What do you guys think are the best MBA programs to get into energy companies in bay/houston area? I am thinking of UT and Rice as their first base to recruit from

They are both great options, Rice and McCombs both have great reps in Texas and in oil companies (McCombs brand is definitely stronger). That said these are some of the more choice gigs at those schools so you will face far more competition for them than you will at a top 10 school. At Kellogg I think the people who were very serious about oil ended up with offers. Some companies recruit for some areas only from top schools and it seems they also have different pay structures. The base offer here from some companies is higher than the max salaries coming out of other schools, and one recruiter actually mentioned top tier school grads get higher pay and more significant jobs...however, with that comes higher expectations.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 08:17
River, do you think people who recruit for these rotation programs are more interested in energy or getting some good GM experience? what if one wants the latter, but has no real interest in oil wells? do people fake it or what?

also, it seems the majority of the good rotation programs are for oil/chemical companies. besides GE, I haven't heard of any other big ones outside this area. are there other industries/companies that offer GOOD rotation programs and good placement after? please list examples if you have them... Dow seems like the best overall from what I've seen
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 08:46
mbafwi wrote:
River, do you think people who recruit for these rotation programs are more interested in energy or getting some good GM experience? what if one wants the latter, but has no real interest in oil wells? do people fake it or what?

also, it seems the majority of the good rotation programs are for oil/chemical companies. besides GE, I haven't heard of any other big ones outside this area. are there other industries/companies that offer GOOD rotation programs and good placement after? please list examples if you have them... Dow seems like the best overall from what I've seen

I think Oil actually is a small player in terms of GM rotational programs. Exxon has GM but no rotational program. Chevron has rotational programs but no real GM program. I think that people here going to oil either have an interest in oil or in energy...some are attracted by the scope of what you work on. It could take you at least 15 years to run a billion dollar unit at most companies but you could be doing that only a few years into the oil industry.

Every industry has rotational programs but manufacturing seems to lead the way, widely diversified seems to be where its the most common. High tech/telecom has companies like Intel and British Telecom. Heavy industry like John Deere, Caterpillar, and Rolls Royce. Widely Diversified has tons, Amphenol, Eaton, Emerson, Danaher, GE, Brunswick, and UTC. Utilities have them, Duke, DTE, PG&E, Dominion. Heck rotational programs exist in companies as varied as United Airlines and Sears.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 09:29
riverripper wrote:
mbafwi wrote:
River, do you think people who recruit for these rotation programs are more interested in energy or getting some good GM experience? what if one wants the latter, but has no real interest in oil wells? do people fake it or what?

also, it seems the majority of the good rotation programs are for oil/chemical companies. besides GE, I haven't heard of any other big ones outside this area. are there other industries/companies that offer GOOD rotation programs and good placement after? please list examples if you have them... Dow seems like the best overall from what I've seen

I think Oil actually is a small player in terms of GM rotational programs. Exxon has GM but no rotational program. Chevron has rotational programs but no real GM program. I think that people here going to oil either have an interest in oil or in energy...some are attracted by the scope of what you work on. It could take you at least 15 years to run a billion dollar unit at most companies but you could be doing that only a few years into the oil industry.

Every industry has rotational programs but manufacturing seems to lead the way, widely diversified seems to be where its the most common. High tech/telecom has companies like Intel and British Telecom. Heavy industry like John Deere, Caterpillar, and Rolls Royce. Widely Diversified has tons, Amphenol, Eaton, Emerson, Danaher, GE, Brunswick, and UTC. Utilities have them, Duke, DTE, PG&E, Dominion. Heck rotational programs exist in companies as varied as United Airlines and Sears.



Thanks for the info.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 09:34
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mbafwi wrote:
River, do you think people who recruit for these rotation programs are more interested in energy or getting some good GM experience? what if one wants the latter, but has no real interest in oil wells? do people fake it or what?


I would not recommend faking interest, I'm sure most people can tell the difference between people who want to be in the industry and people who want to make money and not really work the hours of other industries.

My suggestion to you is to figure out what you are passionate about and then look inside of the different companies for division or jobs that might suit your goals. If you really like VC - you could work in an alternative energy technology VC group inside of one of the big companies. How many VC opportunities allow you to tackle some of the largest problems faced by mankind? If you love corporate finance there are a ton of rewarding positions that will put you in different divisions and give you a different experience every time you change positions. There are internal consultants, marketing, tradering, logistics, contracts, accounting, hitech jobs, IT - the list really goes on and on.

What you want to show is that you want to work in xyz group because you think your skills will contribute to a company/team that will help tackle the world energy issues. Once you understand how complicated it is to go from finding oil to getting it to the customer you will understand why there are so many opportunities inside the industry.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2009, 09:38
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I should also note the lack of GM programs in the industry is mostly due to knowledge of the business. Oil companies prefer to take a successful engineer and let him try his hand at managing than to try to make a manager understand oil. I worked in an internal IT organization and the CIO was a chemical engineer all the way down to my bosses boss who was a geoscientist (about 4-5 layers of people all industry trained not IT trained) before you get to the IT guys at the very bottom.

There are people who overcome this but they do it by proving they have great knowledge and breadth about the entire process, thus the oversees positions, which by the way usually come with a driver and a fancy house + a very very nice pay increase.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2009, 10:13
mbafwi wrote:
anyone know if you can work on alternative energy projects for the big oil companies during the GM rotation, or do they want you working oil? i know most of them have some projects going on...


Ok so the simple answer is "yes." However, the way most of these rotations work is you go where the opportunities at the time are when your rotations come up - usually you've had dialog with supervisor about what you like to do so they try to support you. Just remember all the other MBAs might want the same thing as you but if you are willing to learn the core business and wait a little you should be able to land a role on an alt. energy project.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2009, 14:44
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Since school is fast approaching and most people are done with work, if you are looking to enter the energy industry and have some time to sit down and read up on the industry. I highly recommend getting The Prize, it is pretty much the bible of the oil industry. I read it several years ago and just recieved a new copy which has some newer material. It will give you a great understanding of how the industry has been formed over the last hundred years and it is very well written (it did win a pulitzer).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/143911 ... 1439110123

I plan on adding some information on this thread in a few more weeks when I have some spare time.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 15:33
riverripper wrote:
Since school is fast approaching and most people are done with work, if you are looking to enter the energy industry and have some time to sit down and read up on the industry. I highly recommend getting The Prize, it is pretty much the bible of the oil industry. I read it several years ago and just recieved a new copy which has some newer material. It will give you a great understanding of how the industry has been formed over the last hundred years and it is very well written (it did win a pulitzer).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/143911 ... 1439110123

I plan on adding some information on this thread in a few more weeks when I have some spare time.


riverripper, +1. Per your suggestion picked the book up this morning, and haven't been able to put it down all day!!!
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 21:31
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Here is a previous blog post I made for the Consortium Energy Network.

"The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power
Well I’m finally back from some much needed vacation. I spent the last week in Colorado, fly fishing an area of the South Platte River known as the “Dream Stream.” I really enjoy Colorado, and the people I meet streamside. I was surprised how many people I met asked me about the new Oil & Gas laws implemented in Colorado, to protect fisheries from contamination, and how the new regulations might impact the economy of Colorado.

Before I go down the path of regulations, green energy, sustainability, clean tech, and many of the other “hot” topics, I thought this would be an excellent time to talk about how we got here. Understanding the history of the industry plays an important part in knowing where we are going and the growing challenges we’ll face.

Instead of me trying to recap the history I know together into a blog post – I’ll give some references I used in undergrad recruiting and others that have been recommended to me as a Chevron employee.

1. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power by Daniel Yergin (Amazon)

2. For those of you who don’t want to sit down to read 928 pages of The Prize, you can try - Empires of Industry: Black Gold: The Story of Oil (documentary by the History Channel). You can also find this one on Netflix so if you are a member put it in your queue or download it right to your computer. (Amazon) (Netflix)

3. The Vault Guide to Top Energy Employers – this is a nice supplement to a company’s website or basic marketing materials.

4. Good ol’ Wikipedia - History of the Petroleum Industry

5. Post your favorite history sources as comments!

Remember learning as much as you can about the industry and the specific company you are targeting is going to be a big help in recruiting. Hopefully, we’ll get to some talking points, as well as some industry lingo that will help you carry a conversation with industry professionals and recruiters.

“Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler & Geaux Blue!”
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2009, 05:46
domtri33 wrote:
riverripper, +1. Per your suggestion picked the book up this morning, and haven't been able to put it down all day!!!


haha - I think I've found my reading for the airplane to Hong Kong.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2009, 06:42
Great thread River and Isuguy. Thanks a bunch to you for the wonderful information.

I am about to start my MBA sojourn and will focus my career search on energy( esp. oil). Although I do not have much of a background( engineering UG and graduate degree in economics with a couple of courses in energy and env. and later regular consulting work ex) but have gradually become very interested in the sector.

For people interested in renewable energy, a great company to look at is Google. Google is steadily becoming more and more involved in clean energy stuff and surely an interesting place to work. They are on the lookout for cheaper renewable enrgy. They also have a division which attempts to make Google more energy efficient.

The Prize is a phenomenal book. But the people who are looking out for a smaller book, I believe The Age of Oil, by Maugeri is a good one.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2009, 09:24
river/lsuguy07,

Have been stewing on this one for a bit and thought your responses may be beneficial to more others as well.

You guys keep talking about showing "passion" for the industry. How exactly does one with no past oil/energy experience exactly do that? I mean the things that draw me to GM in the oil industry have more to do with leadership opportunities, diversity in career path, the scale of the industry, etc, and less to do with a burning passion to fly out to some far reach of the globe wildcatting for oil because its been my dream ever since I was born in the shadow of an oil rig in Texas.

All kidding aside though, the things that I am passionate about in business (leading teams, having responsibility, international opportunities, getting things done under pressure, etc) all seem to occur in the oil industry. Thus my interest. But how do I translate this into a passion for "energy"?
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2009, 09:54
One more general question. I would like to get proficient at a foriegn language while in school, probably through Berlitz. I am kicking around the idea of either taking French, Arabic, or Spanish. I took three years of spanish in high school and have a basic vocabulary already built, though I am by no means conversational. I also took a year of Arabic in college but recall very little. Is there any language that would be particularly usefull for a GM track at a large oil company?
Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy   [#permalink] 27 Aug 2009, 09:54
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