Abhijeet Mittal is a 4th year student in the Department of Industrial Engineering. Read on as he recounts his experience of working at Schlumberger, Barmer during the summers of 2016.
As I write my experience of Schlumberger, I recollect the days when I also was very anxious and worried, thinking whether I would get that coveted internship. But in the end it went well.
Resume Shortlisting: As is the case with any good company, your resume plays a great role in your selection at Schlumberger. Schlum pays heed to your leadership qualities, your instances of working in a team etc. A very important part is that, if you are good at co-curricular activities CG actually would not matter. My friends at Barmer (IITD people) had it in the range of 7-7.5. To sum it up, a decent CG(7 and above) alongwith a good background in co-curricular activities is enough to get you going through the first round.
SOP round: Second round was the so called SOP round (statement of purpose). Three minutes were given to each selected candidate and three rudimentary questions were asked. 1. Tell us about yourself. 2. Why Schlumberger (It’s actually pronounced as “schlum-bur-ʒay”) ? 3. How are you going to benefit Schlum. My advice here would be to keep calm, reflect the leadership skills you achieved at IITR. As I was the then Thomso Convener, so I talked about how I’m managing the fest and why I’m confident that I would very well manage the rigorous work culture at Schlumberger.
Technical/HR round: The final round is the Technical cum HR round. Here they test basic fundamental knowledge of your field related subjects (for non Earth Science people). Here again they judge you on your confidence and your ability to think in a particular situation. Make sure to read a little about Schlumberger, what it does etc.
Details about the firm: As you might be aware of the fact that Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services company. Schlumberger is a fortune 500 company with a revenue of over 35 billion dollars and approx. 95,000 employees. So, Schlumberger actually is one of the rare companies of this stature hiring from IIT’s.
Aim of the internship: Schlumberger’s work is divided into 24 segments out of which I was allotted the wireline segment. When you join Schlumberger you are given the position of Field Engineers. The work of a field engineer is to manage the day to day oil exploration/extraction jobs. And yes, it is a field job. The work of Field Engineer is very complex and millions of dollars are at stake if one small mistake is committed, so as interns our job was just to observe how a Field Engineer works (we were not allowed to do work at oilfield).
Apart from that we were given different projects. My project was to manage their tools inventory, standardize their audit and rig books and also study in detail a tool named RST(Reservoir Saturation Tool). Apart from the projects, there was an e-mentor program in which we were required to study about the technicalities of oilfield industry and the various jobs in the particular segment.
The company provided a sumptuous accommodation. We stayed in a resort with almost all the luxuries we could imagine. All our travel expenses were also borne by the company. Because of the nature of work, Schlum pampers its employees heavily. People at Schlum are really helpful but at the same time they’re very busy so most of the problems you need to tackle on your own. Now coming to the point of locations, the condition at Barmer is very harsh with an average temperature of about 45 degrees. So if you are not mentally and physically fit, it would be very challenging to survive in those conditions and that’s why Schlumberger choose its candidates accordingly. Almost every location be it India or outside has its own limitations. Talking about leaves, you work for 8 weeks continuously (even Sunday) and then take a three weeks break (for permanent employees).
The work that is assigned to an intern at Schlum is very rudimentary. You won’t require any prerequisite knowledge, mostly you’ll observe how a field engineer works. You’ll find IITians at the top positions at Schlumberger. Schlum feels that IITians can handle difficult situations better than others and this is the only quality for which it hires from IITs and offer handsome salaries. Now a word of caution, as oil prices plummeted recently, Schlum is continuously firing its employees. In one year it has fired more than 30,000 employees. The situation is not cheerful presently because of the insecurity of the job but people predict that this is going to end soon.
Technologically, Schlum is way ahead of its competitors and it is a very good company if one likes the kind of work. For the initial one year they’ll send you to places like Thailand, Singapore or Middle East to complete your pre-school, school and post school in Schlum.
With this I would like to summarise by saying that Schlum is a great company for an internship experience. You’ll not learn much about your core field but you’ll be introduced to an entirely different field of oil industry and you’ll find a very talented peer group. Schlum is an internationally recognised firm, so if you wish to plan for MS in the energy sector, it is a good company to take one or two years of experience. A lot of people work for two-three years in Schlum earn a lot and then fund their international MBA’s. So if you think this way, Schlum is a good option for you. But, for people who want to enhance their technical skills, Schlum is not the right firm that you are looking for.
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