Ohio Energy Development Providing Opportunities for Ohio Grads…Like Me!
There are great opportunities developing for Ohioans in the oil and gas industry, especially for young people like myself. Last Thursday I had the opportunity to participate in the 2012 Winter Meeting, to network with industry contacts, and to learn more about the opportunities awaiting upon graduating.
Currently, I am a graduate student finishing my degree in engineering management at the University of Akron. While working as an engineer on northeast Ohio building projects, I completed my courses by attending night classes, finalizing my masters project on advanced energy technologies. With experience in construction and my research work in energy, I am convinced great opportunities exist for Ohioans in the oil and gas industry. I am a graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School and soon the University of Akron with a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering. I plan to graduate once I secure a career opportunity, and judging from what I’ve seen, that opportunity is not something I will have to travel for.
The OOGA Winter Meeting showcased more than one hundred companies and 1,500+ industry contacts for me to speak with at the event. When I went around to booths introducing myself as a college student in search of a career opportunity many responded, “So and so needs one (or three) of those,” and “We are hiring!”. I can think of any other fields of expertise where this is the case in our current economy.
Leaders from industry, environmental organizations and state government spoke about the tremendous opportunity and numerous benefits for people in Ohio.
Worthy of mention are the very knowledgeable Ohio oilfield service companies and producers. They have been operating safely and responsibly utilizing hydraulic fracturing technology for over seventy years. We are also very fortunate to have great leadership in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). With their hard work and the help of other experts, national oil and gas regulatory peer review organizations have recognized Ohio’s regulations, as passed in Senate Bill 165, have much to offer other states in the way of proper guidance on stringent regulations designed to protect the environment.
I found the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program to be interesting and highly informative as well. They did an excellent job of educating someone new to the industry by informing me where the opportunities are, possible career paths, and relevant positions based on my experience. This was especially helpful as my master’s project was focused on advanced and solar energy technologies. After a detailed cost analysis on one of the most advanced solar cell technologies, it is no secret why current opportunities in solar energy are few and far between. I needed to regroup and determine other opportunities where my skills could benefit potential employers. It’s becoming clear these opportunities are here in Ohio.
I met representatives from transportation, construction, risk management, real estate, manufacturing, plastics, steel and not just oil and gas companies. This helped me understand the opportunities for Ohioans in developing the Utica Shale are bigger than either you or I can imagine.
It is encouragement I wish all of my fellow graduates could experience. However, in this economy, I am glad to have the opportunity for employment in Ohio energy, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise fledgling economy where folks like me are trying to gain a job to start a decent living.