As employers in the oil and gas industry grow to meet the demand for energy around the globe, they will be looking for students and recent grads to grow with them.
Talisman Energy, a global upstream oil and gas company, headquartered in Calgary with three main operating areas (North America, the North Sea and Southeast Asia), is one of those companies.
“As the workforce continues to shift, students and graduates have the perfect opportunity to work with senior talent who are looking to share their wealth of experience and knowledge before retirement. ”
—Katie Weir, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Talisman Energy
Talisman employs undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines in co-operative placements and often hires them once their training is completed.
Katie Weir, talent acquisition specialist at Talisman, says young Canadians should take advantage of the opportunity to learn from and train with seasoned oil and gas professionals before the baby boomers begin to retire in significant numbers.
“We are looking for people who are self-motivated, creative and innovative and who have the confidence to propose changes and speak up. We need people who can provide us with good ideas because we’re always looking for ways to improve and grow.”
Q. Why is now the ideal time for Canadian students and recent graduates to begin their careers in the petroleum industry?
A. As the workforce continues to shift, students and graduates have the perfect opportunity to work in environments with senior talent who are looking to share their wealth of experience and knowledge before retirement. Now is the time for young talent to take the initiative to form relationships and ask for opportunities – those individuals who step up will be recognized as the baby boomers retire.
Q. What do you think is the best part about working in the industry?
A. The oil and gas industry is extremely fast-paced and on the cutting edge of technical innovations. As a result, you will work with extremely passionate and talented people that are highly driven to compete in a constantly fluctuating market.
Thus, regardless of your background, you will find that there is never a dull moment, with many opportunities to make recommendations and make your mark. For young people with a little business savvy and lots of drive, the oil and gas industry is where you want to be!
Q. What do you think is the biggest misconception young Canadians tend to have about the industry, and how would you address that misconception?
A. Following recent events in North America, I think the biggest misconception of the industry surrounds the working relationship we have with the environment, and the communities who live in those environments. Companies in the oil and gas industry are aware that corporate and social responsibility is the new competitive advantage. Talisman is committed to operating safely, working with the governments and communities in which we operate.
It’s important to be critical when reading information presented by the media, both criticizing and supporting activities in the industry. Do your own research, and I think you’ll find that companies in our industry, like Talisman, are an integral part of our energy solution for years to come, and that they are working hard to make sure that their footprint is as minimized as possible.
Q. What advice would you give to a college or university student or recent graduate who is now interested in working in the industry?
A. Fix up your resumé – take it to your career centre at your university and they’ll help you.
Write a compelling cover letter that speaks to your best qualities – save the pretentious language for your English papers.
“I want students to apply to Talisman, not because we have open jobs, but because they actually have an interest in what we’re doing, and want to be a part of it.”
—Katie Weir, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Talisman Energy
Join a professional association and attend their events – if you feel uncomfortable attending alone, try volunteering at them. By having a job to do, it gives you an excuse to interact with the attendees, and an easy way to start up a conversation the next time you see them.
Do your research – I can’t stress this enough. I want students to apply to Talisman, not because we have open jobs, but because they actually have an interest in what we’re doing, and want to be a part of it.
Be confident, but stay humble – it’s important to communicate your abilities effectively, but it’s also important to be conscious of the phrase: “sense of entitlement.” This generation entering the workforce has already been branded with the word “entitlement,” so students will need to fight against this bias from the very beginning of any relationship with people in the industry – be aware that you will need to roll up your sleeves and work hard for the first couple years, and you will be rewarded in the end.
Q. What is one thing that a student or recent grad can do to help them be successful in this industry?
A. Stay on top of industry trends – read the business section of your newspaper, the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, etc. Regardless of your educational background, to make smart decisions and become a value add to your department, you need to have context around the decisions that are being made. To make big decisions, you need to see the big picture, and you certainly can’t do that unless you have an awareness of the industry that you’re in. You’ll surprise yourself at how much you’ll pick up in a short span of time.
Talisman Energy is a global upstream oil and gas company, headquartered in Calgary. Click here to visit Talisman’s profile on TalentEgg.
TalentEgg’s Petroleum Career Guide and this editorial feature were produced in partnership with the Petroleum Labour Market Information (PetroLMI) Division of Enform. For more information about starting your career in the oil and gas industry, please visit www.careersinoilandgas.com.