One of the most efficient ways to solve this problem is to expose students to the specific activities of prospective employers through internships in specialized departmental institutes and on the basis of their departments in specialized universities.
The most recent efficient approach is being successfully implemented by Russia’s largest companies, Gazprom and Lukoil, at the Gubkin Russian State University.
We interviewed Yevgeny Pensky, a graduate of this prestigious university and Gazprom department, leading engineer of the Special Core Research Laboratory of KazNIPImunaigas, a branch of KMG Engineering LLP.
-It’s worth noting that our university had several departments specialized in Oil & Gas majors. My major was Oil & Gas Fields Development, therefore we acquired practical skills in our profession at Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC’s new Department of Innovative Research of Oil & Gas Reservoir Systems since my first year. Our field was exactly the same as what our geomechanical research laboratory is working on today. A similar department and others work at the university from Lukoil Company. Some of the students had internships at the departmental research institutes of these companies.
Without a doubt, this is an excellent chance for students to gain practical skills in accordance with the requirements and standards of top companies that could be potential employers, and to graduate as a true professional. Another benefit is that the student will have a ready-made research for the final research paper defense, which has been completed and checked independently. I received an excellent mark on my final research project, «Methodology for evaluating the cation exchange capacity of terrigenous rocks by methylene blue,» which I worked on for a year and a half using data from “Kharasaveyskoye” field.
— How does the employment process for graduates of such departments proceed?
— Graduates are subjected to a selection process as a result of which companies invite them to work. I was invited to work at Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, but because the state owns 50% of the company’s shares, I was required to change my Kazakh citizenship to Russian. I initially planned to return to Kazakhstan, that is why I did not want to change my citizenship. So, after graduating in 2014, I returned to my home country and spent nearly a year looking for work. Then I found a job in a trading company, then in NIPIneftegas JSC, and since 2017 I have been working in a KMG Engineering KazNIPImunaigas branch.
— Please tell us about your work in the team of our institute?
— I have been directly engaged in geomechanical research for the past 4 years, which allows me to determine such parameters as strength and elasticity limits, strain, elastic and acoustic modules and coefficients, strength passport parameters (shear resistance limit and internal friction angle). These parameters are needed for future drilling or field development modeling. University-acquired practical experience in research and working with foreign equipment aided me greatly in this work. I am proud that our KazNIPImunaigas has the only American equipment in the country, Autolab 2000 from the NER company, which allows us to obtain accurate data, which is used as the basis for the model.
— Is it possible to fulfill yourself in scientific activities?
— Sure, I eagerly participate in preparation of scientific articles with Ilya Alekhin, who is an expert supervisor on geomechanics at DeGolyer&MacNaughton. One of the articles is devoted to laboratory studies of core for calculation of geomechanical properties of rocks of S. Nurzhanov field. I took part in the «Best scientific work among KMG Engineering LLP young professionals» competition in the area of Geology, Physical and Chemical Fluids Investigations. I was awarded a letter of appreciation from «Karazhanbasmunai» for the work on supplementary exploration of the field.
— How do you spend your leisure time and who do you see yourself in the future?
— My parents live in the East Kazakhstan region, where I was born. So I live alone in Aktau and spend my free time reading, going for walks by the sea, and traveling with friends. In the future, I see myself as a geomechanical research expert. I am very grateful to my colleagues, we have a great team and alsoI am very grateful to my first mentor, Sain Amirov, for his support in the early years. I am glad I chose a very exciting and promising profession for myself. Thank you for taking part in this interview!