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Petroleum Companies Pleased With Rocky Mountain Rendezvous

September 23, 2008
Two men looking at poster
Geology Rendezvous -- UW graduate student Clay Painter, left, shows his poster to BYU graduate student William Hokanson at a poster session during the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, a job fair hosted by the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics. It attracted 23 companies and more than 120 students from schools across the country. (UW Photo)

Companies in the petroleum industry cite many reasons for attending the annual Rocky Mountain Rendezvous of Geosciences Students and Employers, sponsored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and hosted by the University of Wyoming.

"This is my second year here and the atmosphere at the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous is so down to earth that it makes us feel very welcome. We feel like we are hand-in-hand with the university here," says Barry Byars, human resources representative for the Denver division of EOG Resources. He says 2008 seems to be a good year for the students to be seeking jobs.

"There is never a bad time to be involved in the energy industry," says Byars.
This seventh annual event on the UW campus, Sept. 19-22, attracted 23 companies and more than 120 students from schools across the country, some from as far away as Kentucky, Texas and Michigan.

Byars says the students that attended the Rendezvous were mature and "have done their homework by the fact that they're aware of what the industry is offering as well as where the economy is headed."

Many students shared Byars' enthusiasm, including Christine Ruhl of Sharon, Mass., who represented New Mexico Tech University.

"The opportunity to have interviews with all these companies in one place is just really great," says Ruhl.

Students also attended a short course on "A Lease Sale in the Gulf of Mexico" provided by Shell, where they worked as teams evaluating prospects and drilling wells. Students on the team that earned the most money received gas cards from Shell.

Anadarko gave a lecture on drilling methods and then lead a group of students to visit two of their rigs in the Rawlins area. Chevron, in addition to being a platinum sponsor, contributed an additional $2,500 toward student presentation awards. Approximately $3,000 was distributed to students whose posters were highly regarded by recruiters. Another $4,000 helped to offset expenses for students to attend.

The future looks bright for most of the students who have decided to join the industry.

"The job market is very positive now because of high oil and gas prices and because of industry demographics -- large numbers of experienced geoscientists will be retiring within the next few years, at a time when the need for talented geoscientists and engineers is increasing. It is no longer a matter of a geoscience student finding a job -- it's about a student finding his or her ideal job," says Randi Martinsen, a senior lecturer in the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics.

"The University of Wyoming offers all the classes you need to enter the industry," says Stefanie Roemer of Seattle, Wash., who is getting her M.S. degree in geology from UW. "This is my third year at the rendezvous and before I came here I didn't know what I wanted to do with geology. Just coming here and learning about different companies and my responsibilities if I worked for them has really shaped my career plans."


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