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RiverRipper's Guide to Energy

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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2009, 16:08
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domtri33 wrote:
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"?


Response from riverripper taken from the MMM thread in the Ambassadors section:

riverripper wrote:
If you want energy MMM might give you a slight edge but honestly networking and showing passion for the industry will do far more. If a school has an energy club get heavily involved, if they do an energy trek spend the money and go on it (Kellogg is going to have two this year an Oil one in the fall and a clean energy one in the Spring). Oil recruits traditionally and there are plenty of recent grads there, reach other to everyone you can because I can tell you for a fact the recruiters check up on that. Renewables recruire networking just to find the opportunities.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2009, 17:18
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What language to learn...it really varies by company and where you want to go during your career. Portuguese is pretty good these days with lots of stuff happening in Angola and Brazil, both of which are Portuguese speaking. Spanish, Dutch, German, Czech, Russian, French Japanese, etc. Oil is completely global and if you know a language you certainly could work that to go to a location. My advice, pick a language for a place you want to go. If you really want to work in Rotterdam then learn Dutch, etc.

I dont think many people who end up in oil have had long standing dreams about going into it. There are lots of things to get you excited about it. The career path is interesting, you will see a lot of cool things during your career and the scale of things is amazing. You could be dealing responsible for billions of dollar several years out of school. It is probably the most global industry in the world, the major oil companies operate in almost every single country on earth...the only ones they don't are usually because of political reasons or they are so unstable its not worth the risk.

Career progression can be very impressive, the pay and benefits are top notch...how many places still have pension plans and match 7% on your 401K. They tend to be towards the high end of the pay scale when you graduate and as you advance the pay increases are substantial. You will be treated as a high potential person who is expected to reach the executive ranks, and thus you get a lot of attention and responsibility.

The GM path at some companies is also one of the most broadbased things you will ever do. Not many places will put you incharge of marketing, then move you into a supervisor role at an industrial plant, then make you a trader, then put you in an operations role, and if strategy interests you then they may just stick you in that too. I have seen people who have just such interesting career paths and all within 10-15 years.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2009, 17:33
riverripper wrote:
What language to learn...it really varies by company and where you want to go during your career. Portuguese is pretty good these days with lots of stuff happening in Angola and Brazil, both of which are Portuguese speaking. Spanish, Dutch, German, Czech, Russian, French Japanese, etc. Oil is completely global and if you know a language you certainly could work that to go to a location. My advice, pick a language for a place you want to go. If you really want to work in Rotterdam then learn Dutch, etc.

I dont think many people who end up in oil have had long standing dreams about going into it. There are lots of things to get you excited about it. The career path is interesting, you will see a lot of cool things during your career and the scale of things is amazing. You could be dealing responsible for billions of dollar several years out of school. It is probably the most global industry in the world, the major oil companies operate in almost every single country on earth...the only ones they don't are usually because of political reasons or they are so unstable its not worth the risk.

Career progression can be very impressive, the pay and benefits are top notch...how many places still have pension plans and match 7% on your 401K. They tend to be towards the high end of the pay scale when you graduate and as you advance the pay increases are substantial. You will be treated as a high potential person who is expected to reach the executive ranks, and thus you get a lot of attention and responsibility.

The GM path at some companies is also one of the most broadbased things you will ever do. Not many places will put you incharge of marketing, then move you into a supervisor role at an industrial plant, then make you a trader, then put you in an operations role, and if strategy interests you then they may just stick you in that too. I have seen people who have just such interesting career paths and all within 10-15 years.


Thanks river, your depth of knowledge never ceases to amaze.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2009, 12:49
Interesting article by Yergin (author of the Prize) from Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/03/oil-daniel-yergin-business-energy-oil.html
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2009, 14:20
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I'll chime in on the languages with a simple story. I was very excited about learning Spanish and was assigned to a Latin America Business Unit. After about a month of trying to get people to speak Spanish with me with very little success I asked my mentor about it. He told me that the managers I was communicating with were trying to improve their English. Most expats looking to move up in the company are trying to master English. So for the most part English really is the global language for energy companies.

Another example comes from a coworker of mine who is Nigerian - he explained if two Nigerians meet on the street there is only a slim chance they speak the same language, because of this they will default to English which they learn in school.

Brazil/Africa/Asia are the big markets right now for Energy so you can't go wrong with Portuguese, Spanish, Australian accent - but impeccable English will get you a long way.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2010, 06:43
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I'm working for an oil company right now before my MBA and I can see the advantage of learning a language. I would like to recommend French for consideration, because it is surprisingly prevalent in oil destinations throughout Africa. And the difference between a village in Congo and Paris is that in Paris, the person you are talking to probably speaks some English, or at least the other guy in the room does. So it's really important to know some French if you want to be understood outside of work situations - negotiating with customs officers at the airport, directing a taxi driver or ordering food in a restaurant.

However, in work, as other posters have said, most of your colleagues will be expats or westernized locals with decent English. Even if you've done your Berlitz classes or whatever, these guys are going to speak English better than you speak the local lingo and the meeting will move way faster in English.

So learn the language to make your life easier, but don't put it too high on your priority list. Oil companies will pay for training anyway - I got 60 hours of one-on-one tuition when I arrived in Italy. Molto bene!
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2010, 00:20
britguy wrote:
I'm working for an oil company right now before my MBA and I can see the advantage of learning a language. I would like to recommend French for consideration, because it is surprisingly prevalent in oil destinations throughout Africa. And the difference between a village in Congo and Paris is that in Paris, the person you are talking to probably speaks some English, or at least the other guy in the room does. So it's really important to know some French if you want to be understood outside of work situations - negotiating with customs officers at the airport, directing a taxi driver or ordering food in a restaurant.

However, in work, as other posters have said, most of your colleagues will be expats or westernized locals with decent English. Even if you've done your Berlitz classes or whatever, these guys are going to speak English better than you speak the local lingo and the meeting will move way faster in English.

So learn the language to make your life easier, but don't put it too high on your priority list. Oil companies will pay for training anyway - I got 60 hours of one-on-one tuition when I arrived in Italy. Molto bene!


Recognize ENI here
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2010, 04:06
davud82 wrote:
britguy wrote:
I'm working for an oil company right now before my MBA and I can see the advantage of learning a language. I would like to recommend French for consideration, because it is surprisingly prevalent in oil destinations throughout Africa. And the difference between a village in Congo and Paris is that in Paris, the person you are talking to probably speaks some English, or at least the other guy in the room does. So it's really important to know some French if you want to be understood outside of work situations - negotiating with customs officers at the airport, directing a taxi driver or ordering food in a restaurant.

However, in work, as other posters have said, most of your colleagues will be expats or westernized locals with decent English. Even if you've done your Berlitz classes or whatever, these guys are going to speak English better than you speak the local lingo and the meeting will move way faster in English.

So learn the language to make your life easier, but don't put it too high on your priority list. Oil companies will pay for training anyway - I got 60 hours of one-on-one tuition when I arrived in Italy. Molto bene!


Recognize ENI here


Hahaha, definetly either ENI or Saipem (which is almost the same!)
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2010, 09:41
Wow, thanks riverripper for the detailed guide! I have an engineering background (BS and MS in electrical engineering), and am headed to a b-school known for GM this fall (Ross). I was an engineer for 5-6 years, but am currently doing a marketing internship. I'm mainly interested in energy - and sustainability, which may not go over too well - and am definitely interested in rotational programs. I am also interested in international experience in Africa and Asia. Based on your description and my background/career goals, it sounds like I would make a good fit. Do you know if they (especially Exxon) hire from Ross? Thanks!
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 11:46
Exxon does recruit at ross for Treasury and Comptroller. You can check out the company database on impact if you're interested in companies that recruiting on campus.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2010, 07:13
Any idea if they hire internationals either for US or international locations? Energy companies seem interesting and I wouldn't mind coming back to my home country working for one of these giants.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2010, 08:36
gijoedude wrote:
Any idea if they hire internationals either for US or international locations? Energy companies seem interesting and I wouldn't mind coming back to my home country working for one of these giants.


I am pretty sure they will hire internationals for international locations. Not so sure on the US visa side.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2010, 19:18
3underscore wrote:
gijoedude wrote:
Any idea if they hire internationals either for US or international locations? Energy companies seem interesting and I wouldn't mind coming back to my home country working for one of these giants.


I am pretty sure they will hire internationals for international locations. Not so sure on the US visa side.


Agreed, as far as I could gather from their corporate presentations.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2010, 11:43
I am an energy trader and if anyone is looking into that field... post something up
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2010, 08:46
Bookmarked this thread!
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 01:03
lsuguy7
I do not know if you still read the stuff here, but I have 8 yrs with Exxon and am contemplating going back to bschool for a MBA. It looks like you are in Chevron with a MBA. Can you tell me what kind of opportunities you have found there and any tips? Thanks

lsuguy7 wrote:
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 28 Nov 2010, 16:45
It's definitely hard for me to keep up with the consortium/energy/ross threads on the forum anymore best way to reach me is pm. I was actually at Chevron prior to b-school did my summer internship at a "super" major utility and have accepted a position as an energy consultant so I'd be happy to answer any questions along any of those lines.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 03:28
lsuguy7 wrote:
It's definitely hard for me to keep up with the consortium/energy/ross threads on the forum anymore best way to reach me is pm. I was actually at Chevron prior to b-school did my summer internship at a "super" major utility and have accepted a position as an energy consultant so I'd be happy to answer any questions along any of those lines.


Hey lsuguy7, are you in REC by any chance?
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2010, 11:55
I'm definitely active in REC and always around if you want to talk energy or recruiting.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2010, 06:36
lsuguy7 wrote:
I'm definitely active in REC and always around if you want to talk energy or recruiting.


Cool. I'm actually in Houston right now on an REC-sponsored trip to meet energy companies in the area. It'd be really funny you turn out to be on the trip, too.
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Re: RiverRipper's Guide to Energy   [#permalink] 03 Dec 2010, 06:36
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