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Breaking Into the E&P Industry as a YP: Advice to New Grads

Graduation marks the end of a period marked by books, projects, exams, and grades and the beginning of a promising and adventurous professional journey. The dream job materializes only for a few, yet many face struggles. During such times, it is important to remember these key points.



It is nothing but an exhilarating feeling to put on that graduation robe and receive your final graduation degree neatly rolled and tied. It symbolizes the end of a period marked by books, projects, examinations, and grades that makes way for the beginning of a promising and adventurous professional journey ahead. The change is overwhelming for most of us as we look forward to being picked up by one of the many top names of the industry and be associated with them for a good part of our careers. The dream materializes only for a few, yet many face struggles. Often this fight seems unfair, and we end up no longer appreciating the dreams we graduated with. However, while the struggle is not very bad, the “nothing less of a dream job” mindset can take a toll on our behavior. During such times, it is important to remember a few key things.

Rediscover Your Passion

Oil and gas industry is one of the most hazardous industries across the globe, yet you chose to pursue your career in it. “What made you do this?” - ask yourself this question. Often doubt is born out of ignorance. We all are always an epiphany away from working hard toward our dreams and it is not hard to come by one. What exactly motivated you to be an oil and gas professional? Was it the adventurous nature of the job that lets you work closely with nature? Was it the technological challenges that it has to offer, and you love it or was it the handsome lifestyle it may provide you? Whatever it is, rekindle the passion using this and dream once again. The industry might have ignored you for handful of job offers but it has not rejected you forever. Always remember the industry is facing many problems on a daily basis and it needs innovative ideas to solve these challenges. If you believe that you can be the hero, then that is it. Not having a job offer from a renowned company is not an obstacle but rather a springboard to jump into your dream.

Draw an Action Plan and Believe in it

Robin Sharma, the renowned motivational speaker and author, says, “Dreams without actions are mere wishes.” Warren Buffet once remarked: “An idiot with a plan can defeat a genius without a plan.” So, plan your career moves with line of sight to your goal. Right now, while you are reading this article, you may be without a job or have a job that is not in the oil and gas industry. But nevertheless, be a strategist. Create a mission statement for your life. Break down your goal into objectives. Fit the objectives into a timeline. Ask yourself where you see yourself after 5, 10, 15 and 20 years from now. Accordingly, plan to learn new skills, apply for new job openings, connect and network with other people. Believe in the things you do as much as you can. Always remember that the future can be different from past provided you are willing to work for a better future.

Stay Humble and be a Perpetual Learner

So, you thought you would have a dream perfect job right after college and be earning competitive salary much to the delightful envy of your friends? But life isn’t a bed of roses, after all. So, what do you do? Roll up your sleeves and work calmly. Upgrade yourself with new skills and knowledge. Read books and go through online resources. SPE is an excellent online repository of knowledge about the oil and gas industry in the form of magazines, journals, and forums. Do not hesitate to work at any level in an organization. Often the greatest leaders of the world began their journey from the bottom most rungs of the organization. Work hard and learn more.

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Networking with other professionals helps you stay in touch with the industry and gives you a chance to bring your skill set right to the table. Sometimes, you will be surprised to know how different prospective employee and employers co-exist separately in the world till they meet. SPE provides an excellent platform for networking starting from SPE Connect to the conferences and workshops. It provides numerous opportunities to volunteer that help you rub shoulders with industry giants. Leave no stone unturned to get out to the world and present yourself.

Finally, it is important not to lose hope. Your career may have taken a hit due to market downturn but that does not rule out its revival. Always believe in your abilities and keep up your spirit. Everyone who has been successful in this industry has seen failure at some point and thus no one expects a perfect résumé in the interview room. What is vitally important is how you have navigated yourself through these stepping blocks in the path of your career.


A member of the TWA Editorial Committee, Subrat Mohanty is a petroleum engineer at Cairn Oil and Gas, based in Barmer, India. His area of specialization is artificial lift, with experience in installation and troubleshooting of different kinds of rod pumps. He joined Cairn Oil and Gas in 2015 as a trainee and moved to a field-based role, driving artificial lift projects in the Rajasthan asset. Mohanty holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Apart from being an engineer, Mohanty is an author of two English poetry titles and loves writing as well as reading fiction.