PEY Position Information

Participant Info

Nexen Energy ULC
Calgary, AB
Engineering Intern, Research and Development
Work Term
Sept 2013 - Aug 2014
What are your daily responsibilities?
The majority of my work consists of modelling. This includes assessing feasibility of emerging technologies and running simulations to test validity and improve predictability of current models.
What were some projects you were involved in?
So far I have been involved in the development and issuing of patents, generating correlations to model heavy oil properties. In the future I will assist in supervising research and experimentation of new technology and process simulations of said technology.
What were strong points of your interview? Did grades matter?
Good grades will certainly not hurt you but it is not the sole metric for assessing a candidate's abilities. Technical knowledge is important but demonstrating that you are eager to learn, willing to work hard and looking to contribute to the goals of the company will help you much more. Honesty was very important for me. Just be yourself (...I know it’s a cliché) but it’s the difference between a conversation and a job interview.
Which skill sets/courses were most relevant to your position?
I am lucky enough to have used almost every course I have taken in Chemical Engineering in my employment. In my experience, my course work has given me the fundamentals to grasp concepts quickly but a lot more research and reading is required to apply those concepts to a particular industry. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Visio etc.) is key.
What did your company expect from you as a 2nd/3rd year co-op student?
There wasn't a high expectation of prior technical knowledge and I receive training as needed to bring me up to speed. The main expectation was to make the most of my opportunities and learn fast to be productive during my work term. A year is a lot shorter than you think.
Did you like your overall PEY experience? Why or why not?
I have always enjoyed the theoretical side of engineering and am glad I am in a position (R&D) where I can apply it frequently. I am also gaining an appreciation for the challenges of applying theory into practice. Working in a corporate office is great as I get an understanding of the organizational structure and operations of a large company.
One fun fact about your job?
I get a lot of free lunches.
Salary Range
Other Comments
During your interviews try to find a manager that is interested in coaching and mentoring you. I am learning so much more from my internship than engineering, I get invaluable advice about personal and professional development. Make the most of your internship, be engaged, build relations.