Jennifer walked into Paradigm Flow Services’ HQ with her CV and applied for its graduate scheme. Now a graduate process engineer, she works on cutting-edge engineering projects for topside and subsea pipeline blockages.
Jennifer moved to Aberdeen from Stirling as she was looking to spread her wings and experience independent living. While oil and gas is vitally important for the whole country, she didn’t really know anything about the industry until she came to Aberdeen. When she started to learn more about this exciting sector she knew this was the career path for her.
“I always had an interest in science and initially studied in the health side, but it wasn’t where my heart was so switched to engineering,” she says. “The energy industry opened up a whole new range of avenues and I wanted to really test myself. Chemical engineering seemed like the biggest challenge to rise to. It was demanding, but I enjoyed it and found that it was a subject I excelled in.”
Jennifer had two industry placements throughout her course as well as working part-time to help fund her studies. She saw a placement advertised at Paradigm Flow Services in her final summer break and went direct to the company’s Inverurie HQ to hand over her CV in person.
She gained her place on the graduate scheme after doing a work placement at the firm over the summer, so she had a chance to prove what she could do and show them the skills she could bring to the company.
“I think having a direct approach, and the fact that I went out to the HQ to hand over my CV in person, was good,” she notes. “Making that effort was something that helped make me stand out as the industry is already so competitive.
“The interview process went well,” she continues. “I met with the directors, which may sound a tad intimidating, but was actually really positive as they were completely down to earth. I liked what the company was trying to achieve in the industry and appreciated the hard work that they were putting in to make their mark.
“I was offered a permanent position after the three month placement. I was taken on as the first member of the company’s graduate scheme and I am now working on groundbreaking products, playing a part in cutting-edge engineering for topside and subsea pipeline blockages in the offshore oil and gas industry,” she says.
“Hands on experience was what attracted me to Paradigm. I always wanted to pursue a field engineering role, whereby I could learn and develop skills first hand. Paradigm offered a position which allowed me to develop an insight into a range of work scopes both topside and subsea,” she continues. “General experience in lots of different fields is really important for a graduate, not only to develop a broad understanding, but also so you can figure out where you would like your career to go.”
On her placement Jennifer conducted research on Paradigm’s Pipe-Pulse technology, which helps oil and gas companies clear subsea pipeline and umbilical blockages. She is now working with safety-critical technologies in fire water deluge systems, the equivalent of a sprinkler system but for offshore oil and gas installations. These systems are hugely important to ensure the safety of the workforce.
There is a combination of desk-based activity and practical work so she gets a chance to get her hands dirty.
“I have been offshore several times to deploy Paradigm technologies in the field, such as the Pure-Flow chemical system. At the moment I’m trying to achieve 100 days offshore to build up my experience, which ultimately makes my day job a lot easier,” she explains.
“Unfortunately nothing comes easy without hard work and going the extra mile. I’ve always been very proud of my work and dedicated to the job, which sometimes involves working longer hours and having to be flexible, for example going offshore at short notice,” she continues.
“Since being a graduate is the start of your professional career it’s so important to make the best impression you can. After all, reputation is everything, especially in the oil and gas industry.”
One of the biggest challenges she’s faced so far has been the offshore survival training and rope access course, which allowed her to be hands on in the offshore environment, as it was physically tough.
“I was the first female to undertake the rope access course at Allied Training Services and went to the gym for a few weeks beforehand to prepare,” she says.
Jennifer believes that being on a grad scheme has really helped her career, as it’s given her industry insight and great first hand experience.
“I am getting involved in all sides of the engineering from simulation and desk-based research to the hands on experience. This has given me a broader understanding of the industry. Going offshore has also been a big part of my development and progression and it involved a lot of training to be able to do this,” she says.