Brad Speidel started his Shell career while studying Geological Engineering at the University of British Columbia.
“I had always thought my career path would follow more of a geological consulting role,” he says. “That idea was quickly dispelled after my internship at Shell.”
At Shell, Brad found himself working on challenging projects. “I was part of an active, global geology community and was given the opportunity to travel, even as a student,” he says.
Returning for a second internship the next summer, he had the chance to take on even more responsibility.
“I was given a project that had a budget, external contractors to manage and a scope with far-reaching impacts across the business,” Brad explains. “I thoroughly enjoyed both of my internships and was happy to accept a full-time position when it was offered.”
Today, Brad is a Geologist in Mine Development Geology at the Shell Centre in Calgary – and he’s thrilled with the career he’s started at Shell.
Brad’s day at work
Brad starts his day in the on-site fitness facilities at Shell.
“It’s a great way to mix exercise into your commute/work day and facilitate work-life balance,” he says.
Once he’s settled in at work, the majority of his day is spent using software to build geologic models, to support mining operations in Fort McMurray. Some of Shell’s modelling ideas are new, meaning part of Brad’s job is asking the right questions to deliver on-target results.
“Shell has software advisors who collaborate with you and help build a new functional workflow that will ensure successful delivery of the product,” he says.
Brad has also had the chance to work on-site, managing the geologic data integrity of several drill rigs during the winter.
“My role included overseeing our rig site geologists and ensuring they were properly equipped to work safely and deliver the level of data quality we required,” he explains.
This variety of work experience has offered Brad unparalleled learning opportunities.
“My geologic knowledge has developed considerably since beginning with Shell on-site and from the significant amount of training I have received,” he explains.
“Most importantly, I’ve learned how to work with multiple clients and stakeholders while ensuring it is done safely.”
Learning and growing at Shell
As a Geologist, Brad’s first three years at Shell included diverse training opportunities in different areas around the globe.
“Shell has a robust graduate program that provides a very structured training program, tailored to your skills,” he says. “This training was instrumental in providing me with the tools I needed to develop my skills and propel my career.”
Brad has already experienced significant professional success at Shell, being named Shell Canada’s Geologist of the Year in his first year at the company – an award given to a Geologist who delivers exceptional business results while demonstrating a well-rounded and diverse skillset.
Working in different areas of Shell’s operations, Brad has already started building a global professional network. Working remotely from Calgary, he’s in touch with both the geology team and professionals on-site in mine operations.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to work with internal consulting groups from Houston and The Hague during some of our projects,” he explains.
“This has allowed me to significantly expand my professional network across many areas of the globe.”
Reflecting on a career story
Just a few years into his career at Shell, Brad is thrilled by how far he’s come since his first internship.
“I love the amount of traveling I’ve been able to do through work and training,” he says. “I am very fortunate to be able to work in a job I love and still have time to do the things I enjoy outside of work.”
Brad’s experiences have equipped him with the skills for professional success – and shown him how to think about his role in the big picture.
“I don’t think I fully understood the importance of Geologists in the oil industry before working at Shell,” he says.
It’s no surprise that Brad’s career advice for a student or recent grad comes back to the value of new experiences.
“Always come to work with an attitude to learn,” he says. “I try to take in as much knowledge from my colleagues and the people around me as I can.”
“I really value the opportunity to learn from their experience and expertise.”