Employed (and Overjoyed)

lydia-2012 Uncategorized 1 Comment

This post is long overdue, but I was waiting the for the right moment to announce (drum roll please) that I’m officially employed! I recently accepted my offer with ConocoPhillips, and I’ll be moving to Houston, Texas next summer after graduation!

I interned at ConocoPhillips this summer in the Commercial Group in Crude Oil Scheduling (check out my post from the summer here). I worked specifically on analyzing the transportation needs for the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields in South Texas, optimizing transportation capacity, minimizing costs, forecasting future growth, and giving a business plan recommendation for the future. All summer long, I built a complex linear program that was able to maximizing the net profit per barrel of oil based on constraints, such as the distance the oil is delivered, oil pipeline capacity, and market prices. At the end of the summer I pitched my linear program and business recommendations to a 15 person panel, including the manager for all of ConocoPhillips’s crude oil supply in America! Even though the panel grilled with with questions, I was well prepared. And only 3 days later, I was given a verbal job offer!

When I came back to USC in August, I was overjoyed to be starting my senior year with a job offer in my back pocket, but I was unsure whether I should still try to pursue my dreams of becoming a consultant. Since I didn’t have to decide on my ConocoPhillips offer until October, I started the grueling recruiting process for consulting firms.

Consulting firms don’t just ask you typical interview questions, they give you “cases,” which are 30-45 minute mock business scenarios that involve lots of math calculations and business strategizing. In order to prepare for my case interviews, I read lots of prep books, asked my friends to quiz me on cases, and studied cases for hours each night–all in addition to trying to still keep up with my schoolwork!

Through the interview process, I got to meet so many great new Associate Consultants, but I began to worry that consulting just wasn’t for me. The new hires seemed to be already exhausted from the long work hours and unpredictable travel. In fact, one Trojan alum I met was already so burnt out, he was quitting his job and moving onto another career. All these things were red flags. At ConocoPhillips, I had a great work schedule (most people leave the office by 4:30 PM), my coworkers were great people, and I had the opportunity to contribute to exciting projects. It was hard to give up the idea of being a consultant, but in the end I realized I didn’t really want that lifestyle of one. I realized I’d be much much happier working at ConocoPhillips.

Now that I’ve officially accepted a job, a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders. All my hard work in engineering has finally paid off! I feel so fortunate to already know that I have an amazing job opportunity all lined up after graduation.

Texas, here I come!

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