Internships… they’re a pretty big deal if you’re looking for a full time job after you graduate. Viterbi does an awesome job of preparing you for the job hunt, and providing a wealth of opportunities to snag that dream internship. This summer is my third internship in college, and I’ve gotten all three through the Viterbi Career Fair in the fall. My first summer I worked for Aera Energy, last summer I worked for Chevron, and this summer I’m returning to Chevron for another great experience. You can read all about my internship hunting and Aera Energy experience here.
I’m studying chemical engineering with an emphasis in petroleum, and I’ve wanted to go into the oil and gas industry since high school (yes, it’s weird that that’s my dream job, and no, you absolutely don’t have to know what you want to do when you grow up). Working at Chevron as a drilling engineer has been so much fun, and this summer has made me a little less scared to graduate from college in less than a year. Last summer when I was with Chevron, I worked in Bakersfield, CA, which is two hours north from Los Angeles in the interior of California. I also interned as a drilling engineer, and I got to spend 4 of my 10 weeks working on a land drilling rig! It was so neat to get to spend so much time in the field.
This summer, I’ve graduated from the California location and got to move to Houston for 11 weeks! It’s my first time being in this part of the US, and boy is it really hot and humid. I never thought I’d appreciate air conditioning so much. I’m working in the Gulf of Mexico deep water drilling group this time around at Chevron, and it is so exciting. Unlike last summer where we drilled shallow wells really quickly, this time I’m working with projects that take months or years to complete, and use the most advanced technology in the industry. The wells we drill must be worked on through 5,000 feet of water, and sometimes the end depth of the well is more than 30,000 feet below the seafloor! That means our “downhole” tools (tools that are used in the wellbore) are being controlled from a drill ship nearly 6 miles above them. I think it’s super cool.
In addition to the project I’m working on this summer, I got to take a field trip out to one of Chevron’s drill ships. That included taking a helicopter ride to and from the ship, which was way out in the Gulf of Mexico. It was so interesting to the difference between the tiny little land rigs I worked on last summer, and the huge drill ships I got to see this summer! Both in the office and out in the field, one of the things I love most about Chevron is their pervasive safety culture. Everyone I’ve met and worked with knows that there is always time to do it right, and the commitment to safety, health and the environment is always there.
It’s getting to the end of my internship here and the pressure is on to finish projects and get final presentations ready. I don’t want my fun summer to end, but I also can’t wait to get back to USC!Meet Sophie