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Participant Info

Company
Imperial Oil
Location
Edmonton
Position
Support Engineering
Work Term
May 2014 - August 2015
What are your daily responsibilities?
Working in a downstream refinery: 1. Monitor daily/weekly/monthly trends in the Amine and Sulphur Units, which remove H2S from crude oil products. 2. Schedule sulphur trucks based on sulphur production rates and our holding capacity. 3. Day to day troubleshooting, risk reduction tasks, supporting maintenance and changes in my units, scoping out possible improvements to the units.
What were some projects you were involved in?
1. Scoping out mechanical work that needed to be done to ensure abandoned facilities are left in a safe state. 2. Writing half of a historical journal and guide on all the equipment in the alkylation unit. Also many mini-projects or beginnings of a project, putting together quick cost:benefit estimates for making changes in the refinery.
What were strong points of your interview? Did grades matter?
Imperial Oil has a very systemic way of interviewing: answers are jotted down by the interviewer and scored by another human resources person. Generally they ask about your communication skills, working with others, and other soft skills. They take grades very seriously, one of the few companies out there to have a very real cutoff from year to year (though actual number may vary).
Which skill sets/courses were most relevant to your position?
Petroleum engineering: I work in an old refinery, so material in that course gave me a boost. Fluid dynamics: The more you can shove in the pipe, the more money you make. Process Control: Being an old refinery, there were a lot of controls which were antiquated, so there was a lot of potential work to automate more. (steady state is a lie kids) Process Design and Team Strats: My only wish is that the P&IDs actually showed what was in the field.
What did your company expect from you as a 2nd/3rd year co-op student?
I don't get the feeling that the company expects a certain baseline from co-ops or even employees. Instead it encourages all employees to continuously grow and improve themselves by giving them challenging projects and providing an ample amount of training. I am pretty much treated like any other junior engineer-in-training.
Did you like your overall PEY experience? Why or why not?
Good things: Learned that school teaches you nothing, and learned a lot just by doing things at work. Boss is nice and understanding despite the hectic environment. Other engineers are generally cool people, and understand the struggles when nothing makes sense. Seeing your work have near instant results is cool. Bad things: All the paperwork: If you trip and scrape your hand, that's an incident investigation that you have to fill out. Seeing incidents caused by mistakes in your work is not so cool. The work pace and mood of everyone is very unpredictable. A leak, fire or equipment upset doesn't just add more work to everyone's plate, but also a lot of stress. Operators are sometimes mean and will not obey your orders unless you convince them somehow (Boss uses candy sometimes)
One fun fact about your job?
Sometimes when you fart, it will set off your personal CO monitor. So you can release a silent one while everyone's working, then suddenly BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP.
Salary Range
60k, and they give me a small raise every 4 months.
Other Comments
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