How can we survive a downturn as a student?


Since June 2014, oil price has dropped dramatically until the current USD30 per barrel. The plummeting of oil price is still one of the hottest issues and biggest energy stories in the world. Some peoples are happy with the low oil price, but some aren’t, especially oil and gas companies.

As oil and gas students, we cannot deny that low oil price does affect us. As a fresh graduate of the oil and gas industry, you face a challenge to search for a job in the industry. As an intern-seeker, you suffer a hardship to search for the intern as most of the projects have been called off. No additional work force is needed and when worse come to worst, some companies have to lay off part of its workforce In order to survive during the downturn.

Despite the grim situation of the oil and gas industry, as students, we should not lose our hope to our future industry. This is just part of a repeated history. I believe oil price is soon to be bounced back. Therefore, as a student, what you need to do is to prepare yourself and be ready to enter the industry. Here are some tips for students to survive the downturn:


  • Maintain/upgrade your academic results

We cannot deny that results play an important role in determining a student’s performance and achievements, especially during the downturn. It is your responsibility as a student to pass your academic with flying colors. If you have failed this responsibility as a student, how can a company hires you by giving you a more challenging and bigger responsibility? To stand out from a crowd of competitors, you have to be excellent.


  • Grow your connections

As a student, growing your connection will increase your visibility in the industry. Always grab the opportunity and present yourself whenever there are conference, company talks or exhibitions. Let the company know you and you will get a higher chance in employment. Don’t only grow your connection to FB, Instagram or Twitter. You can enjoy yourself in social media, but I suggest you to move your interest to LinkedIn, which is a “professional” social media. A rising number of recruiters are sourcing their ideal candidates on LinkedIn.


  • Volunteer yourself

Helping others is actually helping yourself. Volunteering has many benefits for us, especially to a student where you can learn a new skills and experience, get to know more new friends and also get in touch with professional people. Don’t just admire other people’s experience, you have to step forward to gain your own experiences by volunteering. There are many ways out there that are related to oil and gas industry where you can volunteer yourself, for example: SPE Student Volunteer, Student Ambassador, Energy4me and so on.


  • Equip yourself with new skills and updated knowledge

The downturn is always a good period for us to increase our efficiency and gain the most useful experience. The energy industry is always fresh and you have to always be alert by updating your knowledge and technologies in the industry. You have to learn to be efficient so that you can hit two birds with one stone. Learn a new skill and be diverse. Being diverse means you have to equip yourself with other knowledge, by not only focus on one discipline. If possible, taking a minor subject is a good choice for you.


  • Join more society’s activities

There are many professional societies out there that are related to the oil and gas industry, for example: Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), American Association Petroleum Geologist (AAPG), Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), European Association of Geoscientists (EAGE) and so on. Engaging yourself with these society activities will bring you much more benefit than you would expect, for instance: widening your connection, gaining more experience and increasing your knowledge and skills.

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