One member of our Young Professional Committee is Erin Marshall, an Interventions Engineer at BP. Responsible for planning safe and efficient interventions on the offshore platforms, Erin's job is full of engineering problems that they need to find a solution to.
"When the job is mobilised offshore, I am involved in the daily meetings to track progress and support the job as it is executed. It is a great feeling when it all goes to plan, I wish it happened every time! While it can be frustrating, the unpredictability of wireline interventions is what makes the job interesting. No two days are the same. Some mornings I go into the office with no idea what to expect for the day ahead. That first morning call is the deciding factor."
And when Erin first embarked on her career, she was able to get a lot of experience from different areas:
"I completed my degree in Mechanical Engineer at The University of Strathclyde. This course gave me a good insight into both the theoretical and hands-on applications that engineering can offer. Although I moved onto work in the Oil and Gas industry, my dissertation was a technical-economic feasibility study of renewable energy. I have taken that interest into my career by being involved in projects which aim to reduce carbon emissions. Following on from university, I began working as a Wireline Field Engineer for Schlumberger. This was great exposure to the offshore side of the industry. My role allowed me to develop my leadership skills whilst also gaining invaluable practical skills. In my opinion, my time offshore has helped me in my current onshore role with BP, rather than if I had gone straight into it, I am glad I have seen both sides of the coin."
Erin has learned a lot in the first three years of her career, and the global pandemic brought even more lessons:
"Before the pandemic, when I first started in my role at BP, I really enjoyed working with the team. We would have frequent impromptu collaboration sessions to discuss ongoing projects. I also spent a lot of timing visiting vendors to view equipment for upcoming jobs. At first, I was sceptical how we could recreate that productive work environment in a virtual setting. Like many, I have been pleasantly surprised by how the team and I have adapted to this new way of life. I have even watched some equipment testing via Zoom!
"The industry has a wealth of knowledge and experience. My biggest lesson so far is to try and use that the best I can. Most daily engineering challenges are problem-solving based and don’t have a single ‘correct answer’. The more people you can get in a room discussing and sharing experience the better. It’s not always the most experienced in the room that may come up with a good solution - I try and listen to everyone equally."
So what advice would Erin give to the next generation of young engineers?
"Use your time at University or College to take advantage of all the open days and presentations from various companies. Try to get a feel for what kind of department you would like to work with. Everyone is happy to discuss their experiences so ask lots of questions. If there are not a lot of career fairs taking place then LinkedIn is a great way to network, not just while starting out but throughout your career.
"Also, don’t be disheartened by the application process. It is long and unforgiving. The great thing about the Oil and Gas industry is how easy it is to move roles within it. Your first role is unlikely to be your long-term one. But each role will give you invaluable experience and will ultimately help you reach your end goal.
"Being a young member of ICoTA has also been a great way to network within the industry. Lunch & Learns are a great way to find out about new technology that perhaps your company is not using yet. They are always interesting sessions."
Looking to find out more about joining the ICoTA Europe YP Committee? Contact us for more details.
Remember - if you're aged 30 and under, you can become an ICoTA member for free!
Visit our membership page for more information.
8 October 2020