Looking for internship options? Ben Brown, a senior at The University of Tulsa, talks about the benefits of using Career Services, attending job fairs, and advice for the first day.
Ben Brown is a senior at The University of Tulsa and has accepted a full-time job offer from Chevron. Below he shares his advice for prospective interns, recommendations for businesses, and the main reasons he chose Chevron over other companies.
I started looking for internship options my freshman year. After I went through the How to Optimize Your Career Fair Experience workshops, I mainly utilized Career Services and the job fair. I learned a lot and have been applying and attending job fairs since then.
I was looking for a company that was open to bringing on f reshman. This was difficult, because a lot of companies at the time weren’t taking on interns completing their f reshman year. I also wanted hands-on experience. I was looking for an internship in the field, and I found that was pretty standard with petroleum companies.
The application process with Chevron was pretty simple. I met them at a job fair and talked with their representative, Paige Samuels, who was awesome. Another point of contact was at the Chevron s cholarship l uncheon that happened later in the semester. I also went through Golden Opportunities and an interview my sophomore year. After that, there was an online application and I heard back a few weeks later. That was it.
When it came time to choose which company to apply for, I went with Chevron over other companies for several different reasons.
They Value People
They treat their employees very well. There’s a good work atmosphere and they are known for upholding the same values outside and inside the office.
The amount of interaction and collaboration that takes place there is amazing. When you are at school, apart from projects, it’s a lot of individualized study. Once you get into an actual engineering job, there’s a lot of teamwork that goes into getting things done. Everyone is helping each other , sharing work, asking questions, and bouncing ideas off each other.
What stood out to me the most about the workplace culture was “The Chevron Way.” This is their set of values that everyone lives by and it’s the guiding principles of working there. It goes over the important parts of working at Chevron and interacting with other people. It includes diversity, inclusion, protecting people and the environment, partnership, integrity, trust, and high performance.
Whenever there are meetings, there’s always some kind of safety discussion where they talk about a potential hazard. Whether it’s five minutes or a few hours long, in front of an executive or just your team, safety is always important. You can tell the value that employees put on each other’s well-being.
You Have a Voice
You sit at the table with all the other people. They ask you questions and allow for input. Whether it’s about a project, the team, or an idea, your opinion matters.
Value Behind the Work
I found the work meaningful. As an intern, as a student, as a developing engineer, you’re given a project that actually adds value to the company. It’s not something that you just do over the summer and then it gets stuck on the shelf, but it’s usually something they will take and develop for the future. There’s value put behind the work you are assigned. And the team has your back. You can access all those contacts you have both on and off your team for help for anything. Having that makes you look forward to getting up and going into the office.
Chevron provided structured feedback throughout the internship. At the beginning, there’s what is called an opening PMP (Performance Management Plan). You sit down with your mentor or supervisor, and talk about the goals you want to achieve by the end of the summer. They can range anywhere from personal development to actual deliverable, tangible items. Then you go over the best way to approach the goals and set up a timeline for the summer. Meetings take place every week with your mentor to ensure that everything is on track and gives them the opportunity to give feedback, tips, and advice.
There are a lot of opportunities that working for a large, international oil company presents with internships and in a future potential career.
Advice for the First Day
Just relax. You feel the pressure because an internship is like an extended job interview. You are interning but you are also evaluating the company to see if it’s a good fit for you. But likewise, the company is seeing if you can do good work. I was nervous about that, but at Chevron, I quickly realized that the people around you, your mentor, your team, and your supervisor, are not there to compete with you, they are there to help you. They want to see you succeed. With that being said, don’t be afraid to reach out to people for assistance.
Recommendation for Businesses Considering an Internship Program
I would recommend to a business that is evaluating whether they should implement an internship or not is to go for it. I think it’s valuable for both parties involved. It’s valuable for the students because you learn a lot. As a company, you get to take a closer look at the people you’re going to potentially hire in the future. You also get a fresh set of eyes on company projects and problems. The office is always happier and more energetic with interns around.