With more than 4,500 members in the UK, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), does much more than just look after its members’ interests.
Gulbikesh Valeyeva, 22, is a member of the young professional’s chapter at the University of Aberdeen and talks about how the organisation helps students find their way into the world of energy.
“I’m currently in my second year of a degree in petroleum engineering at the university.
For the first two years of the course we usually only study general engineering, with not much coverage of the oil and gas industry.
“I was introduced to the young professionals chapter of the SPE for the first time last year through one of my friends and it has helped me to build a network of contacts among other students and professionals in oil and gas.”
Gulbikesh, who is originally from Kazakhstan, added that being a member is all about getting involved: “Students need to be active in attending events organised by the student chapter.”
The chapter runs a number of functions and initiatives during the year, some of which are specifically targeted to students and others which are open to students as well as other industry professionals, offering opportunities for networking and learning about industry-wide themes.
There are also opportunities to attend monthly board meetings and contribute to discussions.
The idea is to develop confidence and usable presentation skills and give students a real insight into the ideas and perceptions of the next generation of the oil and gas industry.
“What is more, students can apply to different scholarships and bursaries which SPE usually provide every year,” said Gulbikesh.
Over the past six years, SPE Aberdeen has provided over £100,000 of bursary awards to Scottish students
The organisation aims to support graduates beyond their studies into finding employment after graduation.
Gulbikesh, who now runs the public relations for the University of Aberdeen chapter has no doubts about the usefulness of being a member: “It is one the best opportunities to find your dream job.”
The chapter works closely with others in a number of Scottish universities, including RGU, Dundee, Heriot-Watt and a new chapter soon to be launched at the University of Strathclyde.