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Erin S. - Account Manager, Schlumberger

Erin S., 34, is an account manager for Schlumberger.  She graduated from Purdue University with a degree in interdisciplinary engineering, and joined Slumberger after the company came to Purdue to recruit.  Since 1994 she’s been a field engineer for the firm’s Well Services division in California, Wyoming, Louisiana and Texas.  She’s been an account manager in Denver since 2003.

Erin notes that “I had no oilfield background to start with and as I was looking at various career choices -- I had the option if sitting in an office, or being out in the field and being responsible for crews and equipment and being much more hands-on, and that suited me well.”

“I look after just one contract, but it’s one of our largest in the United States.  I have seven people who work for me.  We help bring together all the many services that we can offer to the client.  Large clients use multiple services and multiple divisions of Schlumberger’s business.  It’s big enough that we need to take this approach to make sure we’re supporting the client’s needs are being fully met.”    

Having an engineering background is critical for her position, Erin says.  “You really have to understand what they’re trying to accomplish, and not just the engineering but also the logistics behind it so as you’re talking about different solutions you understand really what they’re trying to accomplish.  So for this job an engineering or geology background is very important.”

Asked what she enjoys the most about her job, Erin says it’s the interactions she has with people:  “…the level of professionalism and the level of responsibility you’re given very early on.  I really see that being universal within the oil and gas industry.  When you’re in the field working with the equipment and all the chemicals and products -- even at the field level -- there’s a responsibility to make sure everything is done in a safe and environmentally-sound manner, and as efficiently as possible.  And that’s a pretty big task.”

“One of the greatest opportunities within this industry is the ability to specialize as much as you’d like and to generalize as much as you like.  And I don’t think that all industries offer that breadth of opportunity.  I’ve had the opportunity to work in the field in operations; I’ve had the opportunity to work in health, safety, and the environment; I’ve had the opportunity to now work in client account manager.  And so I’ve stayed in touch with the technical aspects but I have been exposed to various environments.”

Erin recognizes that some may view it as an “old” industry with dwindling resources, but also stresses that alternative and renewable energy sources won’t be able to handle out energy needs by themselves.  “We can’t in the foreseeable future go completely to solar or wind energy and wipe out all of our fossil fuel needs and so there’s still a balance we’re going to have to manage.”  

“When I was in growing up, oil was supposed to run out in 30-40 years, yet we extended that that through improvements in how we drill and extract oil and gas.  And we need to find new areas.  I still think there’s a long-term opportunity within the industry -- it’s an old industry, but is not dying or going away anytime soon.”