Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Internship Lessons Learned: ConocoPhillips Tyler Adams

As I sat at my desk on August 7th, 2015, I couldn’t believe that it had finally come to an end. My internship with in Farmington, NM with ConocoPhillips had come to an end. It was my last morning in the office, I had just finished transferring all my work from the summer over to my project manager, who would be taking over from where I had left off. I was doing my final project for the summer, which was different from anything I had been required to do in the scope of my internship. This project was for assuring my career as a Landman.

Although you’d think the completion of the internship would be a moment of joy, I found it extremely bittersweet. The summer had seen massive shocks to commodity prices, as oil had dropped below $40 per barrel. I had developed from a green-around-the-ears college student, to a functional Landman over the course of the past 3 months. A downturn in the market left ConocoPhillips in a tough situation, they had brought on an extremely talented group of Land interns, but were unable to hire a single one. I had received this news earlier in the week in my exit interview with my supervisor and the Land skills manager.

With this news in mind, the project I began consolidated some steps I had been taking earlier in the summer. Networking has been hammered into our heads since our admittance into the Professional Land and Resource Management program, and for good reason. I had made it a personal goal of mine to create as many contacts from my internship as possible. I had been working on my networking throughout my whole internship, but now it was time to use this information and these relationships to my advantage.

I had created my contacts list and built relationships with these people through my projects and questions. One thing I realized over summer was that networking does not have to be bound by who is in your office. I reached out to individuals in Houston from Farmington on the regular, in anticipation of meeting them when I went to Houston for my final presentation. Many Houston workers and been in Farmington at one point and had valuable information pertaining to my projects. I found that one of the most effective ways to network was by reaching out for information, chatting about both this and yourself will create a great connection, especially as an intern.

As I had my contact list fully functional, it was now time to reach out to my strongest connections for advice. I was now heading into the job hunt again, in the midst of a massive downturn, and any words of wisdom would be taken with the upmost attention. The messages I received were consistent and to the point. The take home lesson for me was that, if you really do want to be in the industry, you must be flexible. This industry is volatile, and the position you find will not always be the sexy, flashy job that you had envisioned as a student.

One thing that my internship had confirmed was that I really enjoyed land work. I knew after this summer that this was what I wanted to do for my career. Now, I sit back in Gunnison, writing this and reflecting on some major realizations that occurred to me about the real world. I will leave everyone with my takeaway from this summer and a piece of advice to all those looking for positions in current market situations. Be passionate in what you do, don’t just rely on your courses to give you knowledge. Want to learn about the industry. This will give you the motivation to succeed. If you know about this industry you are going into, you will find the work it takes to succeed come as second nature. I am back in school realizing I’m in the same situation I was a year ago. I do not know where I will end up after I graduate. What I do know is that I am excited about this process. I have nurtured a passion for Land work and this makes the hurdles that are to come look much less daunting.

I want to wish everyone good luck with the recruiting process this fall! Keep your heads down and take advantage of every opportunity Western’s PLRM program offers with excitement. Those who embrace this process and are excited by it are the ones who will succeed!