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University of Southampton MalaysiaUndergraduate

Ravivarma Sridharan MEng Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Internship at BP

Ravivarma Sridharan's Photo

The internship has broadened my perspective of the industry. I now know much more about the Oil & Gas and the Service industry from both technical as well as business aspects.

Why did you choose to do an internship?

I’ve always been interested in seeing how I can apply the knowledge I obtain in classes. I believe doing an internship provides the best platform as not only am I supervised but I will also be trained and will work in a controlled environment. Furthermore, I believe doing an internship (or a few) significantly improves job prospects from either the same company or future employers.

Which company did you choose?

BP

What did the work involve?

I was tasked to manage the obsolescence of a Fire and Gas System on an offshore platform. This involved working on gas detectors which is an essential part of safety offshore as well as upgrading a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). The job itself required a lot of technical knowledge and research as well as meetings with vendors to source suitable products. To my surprise, the project I was working on had a huge impact on the company, saving 28.7 MBOE (thousand barrels of oil equivalent) which is roughly £2 million a year in annualized deferrals.

What did you learn from your internship?

The main takeaway from the internship was people and management skills. I learnt that the best way to get a job done is by leveraging my network or in this case, other employees. It definitely is a faster and more effective method to gain the necessary information as experience can’t be obtained from reading a book! Furthermore, I learnt that demanding time from colleagues, even superiors, is not a bad thing as we’re working towards the same objective.

What were the most useful skills you gained?

In any task, communication is essential. Imagine a project involving over 1,000 employees and the constant inflow and outflow of employees. Every step or change to a project must be well recorded and communicated to ensure that the next person/team who picks up the task will objectively know what actions have been taken and can make an informed decision without having to ramble and search for lost information.

Management of Change (MOC) is key here as even the most minor change to a localized process or machine could have a huge effect on the overall plant/project. This is where the changes and modifications are first proposed, recorded and review by a team of people who have in-depth knowledge of the bigger picture.

How did it benefit your degree studies?

I now understand that merely possessing knowledge is not enough, it’s what you do with it that matters the most. In my final year of university, I continuously found ways to apply the knowledge I gained in my projects.

Did it change your ideas about you would do in the future?

The internship broadened my perspective of the industry. I now know much more about the Oil & Gas and the Service industry from both technical as well as business aspects. My core interests remain the same but I have now realized that applications are much more vast than I initially envisioned.

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