Wireline General Field Engineer
Sarah Perez and Brad Hill first crossed paths at Schlumberger five years ago, when Brad was the intern coordinator who helped Sarah and her classmates understand the career opportunities and life as a field engineer at Schlumberger. These days, the engineers work on different teams but toward a common purpose: Sarah works offshore at drill sites, using the tools and equipment that Brad's team improves through reliability analysis and testing at one of the Houston engineering centers.
What is your current role at Schlumberger, and what is your day-to-day reality?
Sarah: I went through a three-step training program for field engineers, and now I work 20 days out in the field on offshore rigs, then I have ten days off. There’s not a whole lot of desk time, but that’s the job I wanted — being challenged in the field, not doing a 9-5.
Brad: I’m in a pretty different capacity because I’m in Houston full time, evaluating risk associated with design of our technology, and figuring out what we can do to make our equipment better. If I do my job well, when Sarah is ready to prep tools for a job, she won't have to worry about having any issues at the well site.
What is challenging about your work?
Sarah: Being able to adapt to changes in the field. Every environment is different, and every client is different. It’s also very intense, as operating costs for these rigs are about $1 million per day! If I screw up, that’s thousands of dollars per minute wasted. So I try to be very efficient and make sure everything is reliable — which is where Brad comes in.
Brad: Yes — the products we develop are industry-leading, so one of my challenges is evaluating risks and exposing weaknesses so we can avoid impacting engineers like Sarah if we overlook something. We have to consider many differing environmental factors, from deep waters to arctic territories, to high sand content in the well. It keeps things interesting because we have to be ready for all types of environments.
What do you like most about working at Schlumberger?
Sarah: I love my rotation. It’s great balance because I can spend my ten free days visiting friends and family or traveling. I also love the feeling after finishing a job in the field — there’s nothing like it. There is a lot of satisfaction that comes with being Schlumberger given an opportunity to lead a project in a high-pressure situation, and successfully completing that assignment.
Brad: I’m never waiting for the day to end — you never get bored. I also like that Schlumberger rewards employees based on their performance. I started here 11 years ago as a field engineer, but have progressed through various positions since then. Schlumberger even sponsored me to get my Master’s degree in 2012. The company is hugely invested in developing its people – so when Schlumberger believes in you, you’re truly given support to help you progress in your career.
Any advice for recent graduates interested in a career at Schlumberger?
Sarah: Fully research the company to really understand what it’s like to be out in the field.
Brad: Yes. Do your homework and get a better understanding of where we work and what we do. Also, be prepared for a dynamic career that could take you anywhere around the world.