Civil & Environmental Engineering Internship Story: ExxonMobil

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Graf Sullivan
Civil Engineering

This summer I worked for ExxonMobil in Beaumont, TX. I found out about the internship by noticing Exxon was hiring civil engineers on the Handshake Career Fair page and then talking to them at the career fair. The application process was an onsight interview by campus directors and a short general online application. After the campus reps recommended you to HR, there was another interview, and they would make the decision. If you got the job, you fill out another application specifically for that job posting. I worked as a project engineer specifically focusing on digital solutions for their BLADE project (250 kbd expansion project). I was responsible for stewarding projects focused on digital tools related to VR, digital permitting, digital twins, etc. This looked like testing the tech, ensuring all important parties were represented in meetings, planning paths forward, and generally making sure the projects continued to move toward completion. Also, as I was able to assist in start-up operations by helping with vessel (towers, reactors, drums) inspections. I'd say the most important lessons I'll take moving forward is just an added level of preparedness and attention to detail. Being a civil engineer working on digital solutions for an oil and gas company, a lot of my coursework did not directly transfer over, but I think the problem-solving mentality that my courses at Auburn instilled in me was invaluable. I also think the group work / communication skills we learn in class were crucial to my success. I think the biggest advice I can give is do not be scared to get out of your comfort zone and say yes to something that might be a little outside your general field of study. While my internship certainly prepared me to be a better project engineer / manager, there were times where imposter syndrome kicked in as my projects did not have anything to do with my major. Now I feel very lucky because I was able to develop important skills but was also exposed to the early sides of the type of technologies that are undoubtably the future of the industry. I think this unique expose helps separate me from other interns and will be invaluable in the future.