Cox Petroleum Transport

Chemical Engineering Intern

May 2019 • New Orleans, LA

What I liked

Working closely with operators and engineers overseeing various projects in the South Marsh Island field in the Gulf of Mexico was an awesome learning experience.

What I wish was different

I would like to see more of the upstream processing of petroleum.


When offered this type of opportunity, leave no stone unturned. Seriously, dive in. I asked so many questions during my time on SMI-217A (oil production platform), I thought surely I’d get on someone’s nerves. The opposite happened instead, and I was welcomed as an enthusiastic learner and invited back as a full time operator if I ever “decided to drop outta school.” I guess all of this is to say, YOU MUST ASK QUESTIONS. If you see something and you don’t know what it is, ASK someone who does. I’m not talking about just looking at something and saying, “What’s that”. Well, sometimes “what’s that” is acceptable, but what I’m really getting at here is: ask relevant, precise, in-depth questions about things/events/processes in your new environment that you have first observed and at least tried to reason through in your mind. The reason I was accepted by these people and grew so much during my time on a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico was because I left my ego at home and instead I kept with me a humble attitude and a determination to be the very best at ANY SINGLE THING I was asked to do. None of us are perfect. In any unfamiliar situation, you will win very few style points for blindly stumbling upon the right answer with no instruction. Similarly, the risk of trial and error could be more serious than you know. Instead of going for the style points, ASK SOMEONE WHO KNOWS. Next time this no longer unfamiliar situation arises, demonstrate your attention to detail and instruction by confidently approaching with the correct solution provided to you by an experienced worker. Risk was avoided and one coworker knows now that you aren’t afraid to admit you don’t know something, and that you were LISTENING to what that coworker said. Don’t we all appreciate when someone really listens when we speak? All in all, as the new guy, I learned something that I hold as a cornerstone not only in a new work environment, but in all forms of any unfamiliarity I might experience in my life. You may have seen this in the passage above a few times: ASK. Ask questions, devour the information offered, and digest the contents of this information by storing it in your brain and continually accessing and reviewing it. Gather enough information, and one day you will come to realize that you are no longer unfamiliar. You have access to enough information at any given second to make yourself the best you that you can be, regardless of circumstance. ASK!
Be the first to mark this as helpful