I have completed two placements with Schlumberger as a Mechanical Engineering intern, during the third and fourth years of my MEng degree. During my 12-month internship based in Stonehouse, Gloucester I worked within the Sustaining department of a Rotary Steerable tool. My role consisted of completing numerous small projects throughout the year, varying widely in content and length, giving me a good depth and breadth of knowledge whilst also allowing me to tailor the internship to my specific interests. The experience I had was extremely hands-on, allowing me opportunity to take on responsibilities from an early stage. Having a number of small projects made it easy to manage my work load and there was always opportunity to take on more/less work if necessary. During my second 4.5-month internship I was able to focus on the prototype development of a new project that I was entirely responsible for. I enjoyed this challenge as I was able to take a project from the initial feasibility stage through the design process, and finally testing of the final prototype, allowing me to experience the full lifecycle of a prototype which I found extremely rewarding.
A highlight for me was the ability to take on so much responsibility within such a major company, and the opportunity to learn in such a hands-on way. This industry is extremely fast paced and therefore provides an opportunity to make an immediate impact with your work. I enjoyed the practical aspect to this job as there was more to it than working at a desk- it included a good mix of computational modelling, practical work and testing. I was able to complete all of the design, modelling and testing of my prototype in-house which was an incredible experience. The range of projects covered during my first internship gave me a good insight into a number of engineering topics which I found invaluable when returning to University.
Every project I have worked on involved unique challenges, requiring independent learning to understand the background and scope of each project and having the confidence to ask questions when needed. At times taking on a new project with no experience can be daunting however my colleagues were always happy to answer questions and point me in the right direction when needed. Having learnt so many new things in a vast range of topics, the experience gained from these challenges has been invaluable. This type of hands-on learning has made the difference between studying engineering and being an engineer.
The experience in industry gained from my two placements with Schlumberger has been extremely helpful and gives a significant advantage when returning to study and applying for jobs. Being able to put theoretical engineering into practice and getting a hands-on experience has given me an insight into how I would like my career to progress and the specific areas that I would like to explore further. Schlumberger has given me that opportunity, with the flexibility to choose interesting projects, to take on responsibility and give input while working both independently and as part of a team.
This is a brilliant opportunity for a short or long-term placement within Schlumberger. There is a learn-on-the-job style environment and it can involve being thrown in the deep-end however everyone is more than willing to help with any questions or help you may need. My advice would be don’t be scared to ask stupid questions as you are not expected to be an expert from the start! This internship is definitely suited to someone who enjoys problem solving and getting hands-on with practical projects.