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Petroleum Engineering Admission Essay

The personal statement that you submit as part of your application is your opportunity to present a richer characterization of yourself than what your transcripts can capture.

Department-specific Questions

Each department that you apply to has provided a prompt (on the application form) that you should respond to with your personal statement. Be sure to address the topics in the prompt but also consider ways in which you can set yourself apart from other candidates.

Writing a Well Crafted Statement

As you write your personal statement, Ask yourself this important question: “What evidence can I provide to the admissions committee that I will be successful as an engineering student in their department?” To answer that question, you must also answer the more basic question, “What do the faculty believe are the qualities of a successful engineering student?” There is certainly a long list of attributes that would answer this question. Your personal statement should highlight the characteristics on that list that you most closely identify with, and that your experience can support.

We encourage you to take the time to write a well crafted personal statement. Such a statement demonstrates proper grammar, a logical organization, college-level language and vocabulary, and even a touch of creativity.

  • Start early.
  • Write an outline, then write your first draft.
  • Read your drafts out loud to yourself. Or ask your friends to read them.
  • Visit a writing center on campus.

All of these activities take time, which is a scarce resource in the middle of the quarter when you are busy with your courses. But the effort you invest could make a crucial difference in the impact of your application.

Avoid “Cute” or “Cliché” Descriptions of Your Motivation and Interests

Every year the faculty on the admissions committee read about Legos in the personal statements of several applicants. Many students who pursue engineering enjoyed playing with Lego bricks as children (and maybe even still do). Perhaps you look back at your enjoyment of Legos as an early indicator that you were “meant to be an engineer” but the faculty likely do not believe that a student's attraction to playing with plastic blocks has any correlation with their potential success as engineers.

Petroleum Engineering

  • Length: 924 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
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Petroleum Engineering

As a petroleum engineer, one would have to apply their "technical skills and knowledge" to solve different challenges. They connect an area that lies just below the surface and top to bring oil and gas from a reservoir to the to where they need it to be. Their aim is always to work economically as well as safely. The diverse topics covered by petroleumengineering are closely related to the earth sciences. Petroleum engineering topics include economics, geology, geochemistry, geomechanics, geophysics, oil drilling, geopolitics, knowledge management, seismology, team building, teamwork, tectonics, thermodynamics, well logging, well completion, oil and gas production, reservoir development, and pipelining. A petroleum engineer must acquire knowledge in areas which include petrophysics, drilling and product operations, reservoir engineering, production geology, production technology, field development economics and of course a lot of math with an emphasis on ‘a lot'. Entry requirements include: aeronautical engineering, astrophysics, chemical engineering, civil engineering, earth sciences, and mechanical engineering. Working in this field means you also have to learn to manage material resources and practice contractor relationships to supervising drilling personnel. They work in multidisciplinary teams alongside other engineers, scientists, drilling teams and contractors. Schools that offer such studies and programs include Texas A & M University, Texas Tech University, The University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University, and University of Oklahoma with their ‘Departments of Petroleum Engineering'. Potential candidates must show technical capability, strong business awareness, analytical and creative skills, managerial potential, the ability to motivate staff at all levels, the ability to work internationally and in offshore environments, team working skills, drive and enthusiasm, the ability to solve complex problems, tackle challenges, flexibility and ability to work on a range of projects, and computer literacy.
The typical work activities and what you might expect as a petroleum engineer would be liaising with geoscientists, production and reservoir engineers, and other such people to predict production potential. They also compile development plans using mathematical models and select accurate tubing size and suitable equipment for their plans and move onto designing "completions", which are the part of the well that communicates with the reservoir rock and fluids. Next, they design systems that will help the flow. For example, I can across some information that stated they use submersible pumps to help the flow. Of course, it is always important to keep a close eye on the fluid's behavior and its production and managing how a set of different wells might interact with one another.

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In addition, they have to manage relationships in relation to health, safety and environmental performance. Finally, they must always keep in touch with different departments to ensure the progress is on the right track as well as keeping in touch with the clients and keeping them informed. Petroleum engineers have historically been one of the highest paid engineering disciplines; this is offset by a tendency for mass layoffs when oil prices decline. Typical starting salaries range from $50,000 – $65,000. Those who have obtained a PhD. receive higher salaries. Typical salaries with those who have experience range from $100,000 - $135,000. Of course location and assignments influence salary.
This is an international activity and many jobs are overseas. Recruitment, training, and job titles very from company to company. Working as a petroleum engineer can take you all over the world! Just think about working in places such as Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. You can be employed at an operating and producing company, engineering consultancies, integrated service providers, or at a specialist drilling contracting company. All work is mainly office-based and working closely with geologists on different oilfield developments. You may be working nine to five or seven to four if you are stationed in Europe however most often include some extra hours. Offshore jobs require ‘shift work' which means usually twelve hours on and twelve hours off for two weeks. Then that would be followed by a two or three week break onshore. One interesting fact that I learned is that only a small portion of petroleum engineers are women but that number is increasing due to high demand because of the oil shortages. Working as an engineer, any engineer, can both be physically and mentally tough. You can expect to travel within a working day and you can expect to tell your family that you will be absent for the night from home due to oversea work or travel. This job market is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in oil prices and the status of existing and proposed projects. Overall, it is a tough profession that involves procuring reserves from places that predecessors deemed too difficult or not economic with the technology of the day. Any mistake made in this profession is usually measured in millions of dollars. However, petroleum engineers are held to a very high standard. In comparison, deepwater operations are almost like space travel in terms of how challenging they both are technically. One must put up with arctic conditions or those of extreme heat. There are several types of petroleum engineers including reservoir engineers, which work to optimize production of oil and gas due to well placement, production levels, and oil recovery. A second type would be drilling engineers, which manage technical aspects of drilling. Finally, there are subsurface engineers, which are also known as completion engineers, which manage the interface between the reservoir, and the well, which includes sand control, artificial lift, down hole flow control and monitoring equipment. In conclusion, petroleum engineering is definitely challenging but always something to consider.

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