“The ability to provide affordable, reliable energy changes lives. I hope you tell your friends ‘I’m going to change the world and I’m going to do it in the energy industry’,” said Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton to IPAA/PESA Petroleum Academy externs.
The energy industry’s positive impact on improving people’s lives was the theme of Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton’s address to graduates at this year’s IPAA/PESA Externship Banquet. “Energy has made more changes that affect mankind than any other industry in the history of the world,” stated Sitton, as he encouraged the high school juniors and seniors to consider a rewarding career in the energy industry. Mr. Sitton leads the Texas Railroad Commission, the governing regulatory body for the state where energy accounts for forty percent of the economy and is the 13th largest world-wide. “We don’t work on trains,” he added jokingly. “Anyone who wants a well in Texas or anything to do with energy has to come through us.” Future leaders of this valuable resource will create innovative ways to provide reliable, affordable energy for a promising future for everyone stressed Sitton. “Half the world still doesn’t have reliable energy which means we help change lives, a significant reason to consider a career in energy,” added Sitton.
The expanding IPAA/PESA externship program, now in its sixth year has graduated 394 students to date and relies on the support from the IPAA/PESA Education board and corporate sponsors who make the program possible. The program is designed to provide hands-on training to high school students in their junior and senior years at energy companies as they plan and choose their future career paths. An extern at DistributionNOW enjoyed the hands-on experience learning about various aspects of supply chain, material management and material control. “If there was one thing I could change, it would be to have more time to spend with the company,” Luis commented. Students were selected from Milby High School, Westside High School and Young Women’s CPA and after attending a two week intensive study at one of sixteen companies received their certificates of completion and college scholarship at the banquet. The banquet was held June 19 at the Houston Petroleum Club and included two other speakers in addition to Commissioner Sitton. Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, University of Houston, gave an inspiring talk to the attentive audience and PESA Board Member Pat Bond, President and Chief Operating Officer, LTR, interviewed parents about the impact of the externship on their children. All the parents interviewed remarked on how the externship lit a fire in their children, motivated them to work harder in school and promoted a level of responsibility and maturity in their children that was enormously impressive.
This year professional development was also offered to externs by Dale Carnegie to develop communication and leadership skills, as well as foster a strong business and professional attitude. Houston Community College generously provided the venue for the professional development training, which was an overwhelmingly positive experience for the externs.
The externs spoke about how well this program helped them prepare for college. Paige, who was an extern at FMC technologies and is attending Georgetown University in the Fall said, “I speak for myself as well as my colleagues when I say that working at FMC not only expanded our knowledge about engineering but helped narrow down our choices on which engineering disciplines we will study. Our experience was tremendously beneficial to our future and we will take every lesson learned, every network skill adapted, and every conversation we’ve held with us. We thank IPAA, PESA and FMC for this wonderful externship.”
A group of students who externed at Cameron agreed enthusiastically that their experience was rewarding including a senior from Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. “What I learned most was not just about Cameron and its core values but the principles that will help me as an individual in the future,” commented Asha. “Cameron really invested into each of their externs and I am truly grateful for this experience.”
The IPAA/PESA externship program has an active and ongoing alumni network. In August, the alumni association will host an externship mixer at the Four Seasons in Houston where students will get to meet oil and gas companies in an informal setting.
The IPAA/PESA externship program is supported through the engagement of companies whose valuable contributions make the program possible. The sixteen companies and the IPAA/PESA Education Center offer life-changing mentorship to young aspiring energy job seekers of the future. The program is expected to continue to grow and in the summer of 2016 will have an even larger class of 100 students.
PESA Member Companies that hosted externs were Cameron, DistributionNOW, FMC Technologies, Halliburton, Schumberger and Weir Oil & Gas.