12/6/13

Anybody know what life is like at these companies after you get your MBA?

I've searched their websites and have found some useful info but nothing about salary or work-life balance.

I work in Energy right now for a different major but would be open to moving after getting a part-time MBA from a target school in Houston. I know Exxon works you to death at the undergrad level, not sure if that's the case post-MBA although I wouldn't be surprised if it is.

How's life at Chevron like?

Anyone know compensation numbers at both places?

Thanks.

Comments (97)

12/6/13

Interested as well.

Not to hijack, but could you also elaborate on your own experience? Presumable you work for an O&G major on the business\finance side of things, and there is not much content on WSO about this path.

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12/6/13

Andres,

I started in the finance program at this major out of undergrad and have been with the company for almost 3 years now. I now work on the trading side of things doing PnL analysis for a particular commodity trade desk. There is some content on WSO about oil trading. I'm considering a PT MBA program now because I might be moving into a market strategy/analysis role in trading pretty soon and don't want to miss that experience. I would like to stay at my current company but I'm pretty sure they won't bump my compensation up to what I want post-MBA.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/6/13

Also interested

12/6/13

Will see if I can find some of this info out. Probably get back to you guys by the end of next week if I do get anything.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

12/6/13

Thanks man. Let me know what you find out...

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/6/13

I am an MBA and work for a Tier 1 EPC in Houston (whose clients include both Exxon and Chevron) and post-MBA on the project side tend to be very rotational for those guys. I can't speak as well to the trading side but one of the client contracts guys I was working with recently finished his MBA and was moved into a gas trading position as a result. All majors are going to be very politic heavy but if you are already trading I would looking to stay that route and possibly transition to a commodity shop post MBA.

That being said most majors will pay 100% of your MBA if you agree to stay for X number of years post so that may be appealing especially with the amount of great part time programs we have in Houston.

PM me if you want more details.

12/6/13

PM'd you.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/6/13

initialandrew:

I am an MBA and work for a Tier 1 EPC in Houston (whose clients include both Exxon and Chevron) and post-MBA on the project side tend to be very rotational for those guys. I can't speak as well to the trading side but one of the client contracts guys I was working with recently finished his MBA and was moved into a gas trading position as a result. All majors are going to be very politic heavy but if you are already trading I would looking to stay that route and possibly transition to a commodity shop post MBA.

That being said most majors will pay 100% of your MBA if you agree to stay for X number of years post so that may be appealing especially with the amount of great part time programs we have in Houston.

PM me if you want more details.

Any comp #s you wanna share? Thanks for the post man! Currently in H-town myself, but not in O&G

3/30/16

Thank you this is very helpful.

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.

12/6/13

I don't have exact figures (although a quick Glassdoor search will help) but compared to other industries in Houston I have found O&G to be one of the highest compensating (besides banking and healthcare). That being said you better enjoy working with engineers because they run the day to day in these companies. Also, know what you want to do in the industry since O&G encompasses everything exploration to owning a gas station (and all the steps in between).

A bit about me I've worked in many industries / roles and left private equity to come to the project management team where I currently work.

12/6/13

I am interested in this as well (I am more interested in compensation in CF at major companies compared to boutiques specialised in oil and gas). corporate finance in oil and gas (and infrastructure in general) is really exciting with projects that could last years, multi-national and multi-million (if not billion) transactions . Negotiating, developing contacts with local and national authorities becomes part of mid-managers' jobs at oil and gas companies.

Joined the WSO because I am actively looking for a new job. Hopefully I can move over to a CF role at an oil and gas company or oil/gas/energy groups at a bank.

12/6/13

Yeah it does seem interesting. As far as compensation numbers go it seems like people are holding out or there just aren't many people working in these roles on WSO...

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/6/13

pacman007:

Yeah it does seem interesting. As far as compensation numbers go it seems like people are holding out or there just aren't many people working in these roles on WSO...

That's what it seems like! I would assume there are some very lucrative roles in the O&G industry at higher up corp fin roles, and those that have knowledge are trying to keep it protected to keep down the competitiveness. From personal experience of living in Houston for the past year, I know every time I mention I work in finance to someone they tell me I need to get into O&G

12/6/13

I work for a major O&G company and have met some guys who have come in from schools like Harvard and Wharton into Corp Dev and Corp Fin roles. I just haven't been able to develop the relationships to the point where I can ask them about dollars and cents. I understand the lure of IB but working for a Major at those levels is in a league by itself. I'm from Houston so I never appreciated the industry but now when I see people from other regions of the country coming down here to work I'm beginning to understand. It's all about experience in this industry and less about the prestige of your school. An MBA from Rice or UT is just as likely to be ridiculously successful as a guy from Harvard or Chicago. Plus, working 50-60 hours a week making 120k-140k with potential to jump into upper management is better than working 80 hours and having no control over your schedule while making 200k+.....at least for me it is.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/8/15

Dorothy Parker once said that doctors, lawyers and princes come and go but oil money is forever... The more time I spend in Houston (even in a terrible market) the more I think she might be right.

I am in a post banking senior analyst corp dev slot at a ~$4bn EV OFS company (we were $6bn but ya know... $40 oil...). My base salary is $120k and my bonus target is 20-25% of that. I work 45-50 hours a week, maybe 60 if the shiz is really hitting the fan deal wise. I manage two junior analysts, and my team is 6 people total (one guy focuses much more on the strategic planning side of thing, myself and my boss are the M&A team for all intents and purposes).

I have heard two things about the majors from people I know that work there: 1) Very political and often rising up the ranks (unless you perform a very specialized function) requires moving to various places you really wouldn't want to live (ie Exxon requires you to move jobs every 2 years, and Exxon career planning decides which job you go to next) or being in some sort of post-mba "leadership rotational program" so if you have a clear desire to do x job in y location might not be the best fit. 2) from the Corp dev side for upstream, its much more A&D as opposed to M&A - which is a bit different than buying businesses, but which some people, especially those with a geological / petroleum engineering bent really enjoy.

Personally would love though, to go work for one of their venture teams. We have looked at some acquisitions from some of those guys' portfolio cos. Seems like a really cool slot.

Take what I say with a grain of salt as I am a degree of remove, but feel free to PM me if you want to discuss the awesomeness of Houston or other related matters further.

12/6/13

There are quite a few people working in CF roles on WSO, but I've only come across a couple in O&G. Neither of them was at the post-MBA level, which is consistent with WSO's demographic.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

2/1/14

I am going into an undergrad CF development spot at a top O&G company from a California State University starting at +$75k plus bonus, with a work-life balance that makes you think they're messing with you. There is a development program for MBAs too, and I can imagine the pay would be higher respectively...

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12/6/13

I have been around my company for a couple of years, and it seems like the MBA placement is kind of random. I have seen some M7 people get middle of the road finance jobs. The most successful group I have seen have been on-campus MBA hires from Texas target schools. I have no idea about their work/life or comp, but they tend to get corp strategy, market analysis or high level treasury type jobs.

12/6/13

Billy Beane:

I have been around my company for a couple of years, and it seems like the MBA placement is kind of random. I have seen some M7 people get middle of the road finance jobs. The most successful group I have seen have been on-campus MBA hires from Texas target schools. I have no idea about their work/life or comp, but they tend to get corp strategy, market analysis or high level treasury type jobs.

Thanks for sharing! I would assume UT & Rice MBAs place extremely well at these companies.

12/6/13

I"m also interested. I currently work for a major O&G manufacturing/service company. I am going to eventually transition to a major. I have heard that Chevron is the best to work for. I do have 3 friends who work for Chevron, not in a corporate role, and love it.

12/7/13

txjustin:

I"m also interested. I currently work for a major O&G manufacturing/service company. I am going to eventually transition to a major. I have heard that Chevron is the best to work for. I do have 3 friends who work for Chevron, not in a corporate role, and love it.

Thanks for sharing!
How are their hours?

12/7/13

They are field management positions. Nothing related to office work.

12/7/13

txjustin:

They are field management positions. Nothing related to office work.

I gottcha. I've got a cousin who does field engineering for a midstream company.

12/8/13

Getting into Exxon, Chevron, Shell, or BP is incredibly competitive post-MBA for a commercial role (i.e. their development/leadership programs). Probably more difficult than landing BB IB.

Here are the numbers: Exxon Treasurer's 3-5 new hires a year, Controller's ~10-15

Chevron Finance MBA: 3-4 hires a year- their group has a Twitter with the MBA summer interns last year http://t.co/UJxhaQRo
Chevron Commercial Skills, Downstream- 6-8 total (recruited from ~16 business schools)

Conoco Phillips - 1 person for Treasurer's every other year

BP- ~3 North America MBA hires for their Global Leaders Program

Shell- doesn't directly recruit MBAs on campus- one has to go through Shell recruitment days- the process takes about 3-6 months, handful of MBA hires in the U.S.

background: it helps a lot to be a chemical or petroleum engineering BSE, 3-4 years of engineering experience, ideally as a drilling engineer or ChemE at a refinery. A strong undergrad GPA and first semester grades for the MBA count for a lot too (energy companies, particularly Exxon, require candidates to bring their transcripts to the interview and want the top 10% of students at top MBA programs.)

It is tough getting into Exxon Treasurer's outside of Harvard and Wharton. Definitely possible though, I met some guys from Booth and Columbia during the recruiting process.

Source- I interviewed with the oil majors in 2006-7 and have a friend who got into one of these development programs after his MBA (went to work in Angola for 1 year and then Saudi Arabia for 1 year and then Australia for 1 year. Now he's in Houston.)

12/8/13

Thanks, Michael.

I always knew it had to be very competitive. I think WSO is so geared towards banking that Big Oil is sort of slept on. I work for a major on the commercial side, I'm trying to get an evening MBA so I can move into more of the Commercial Development roles....the guys I've come across usually have an undergrad in Engineering and a top MBA.

Do you know what kind of salaries these guys offer by any chance?

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/8/13

Thanks a ton, SB for you. I thought my friend might know something but he knows 0.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

12/11/13

Want to correct you real quick. Drilling engineers are just above production engineers on the totem pole. The top kids out of Pet.E engineering schools get recruited to work on reservoir engineering projects, i.e. determining whether it'll be economical or not to extract hydrocarbon from a particular development area.

So expanding on some of this, working for a Major like CVX, XOM, or Shell is a completely different ball game than working at an independent. On the upstream side (which is largely their most profitable business units') at Major's, strategy is almost entirely driven by the science (i.e. geology and engineering) of a deal or plan. Every single BD person from a Major I worked with back in IBD was an engineer and / or geologist. Many of which with masters and PhD's.

For instance, Chevron Ventures which is essentially CVX's M&A group for upstream A&D / corporate deals is comprised entirely engineers. CVX Ventures, next to being in the C-suite, is the top group to be in at CVX. I know XOM has a similar team, and Shell's primary top BD's guy's are also technical. Point here being, if you'd like to move into a high-impact BD / strategy role at a Major, skip your MBA and go get a masters in petro. engineering.

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12/8/13

I'm not sure about salary. I don't know my friend well enough to email him out of the blue and ask about comp. But I interviewed with a woman from Shell a few years ago who said she makes almost twice what she would in the auto industry at the same stage of her career (she had a mechanical engineering undergrad from Michigan).

If you have relevant energy experience, you may be able to lateral into a commercial development role without an MBA all together. It is generally not realistic to get into an MBA leadership program from a part-time MBA but it can happen if you network and interview extremely well. Treasurer's at Exxon is very clubby. There are about 100 people in the office and most went to H/W or a top 10 full-time.

They do some incredible stuff like a $14 billion LNG project in Papua New Guinea (that was internally financed!). Same thing with Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone, something like $30-40 billion dollar projects. In Treasurer's, you work as an in-house investment banker/project developer so I would assume that salaries are somewhere between IB (which pays well because it's a client/sales job) and Corporate (which has better hours and little to no pitching).

12/8/13

MichaelHutchens:

I'm not sure about salary. I don't know my friend well enough to email him out of the blue and ask about comp. But I interviewed with a woman from Shell a few years ago who said she makes almost twice what she would in the auto industry at the same stage of her career (she had a mechanical engineering undergrad from Michigan).

If you have relevant energy experience, you may be able to lateral into a commercial development role without an MBA all together. It is generally not realistic to get into an MBA leadership program from a part-time MBA but it can happen if you network and interview extremely well. Treasurer's at Exxon is very clubby. There are about 100 people in the office and most went to H/W or a top 10 full-time.

They do some incredible stuff like a $14 billion LNG project in Papua New Guinea (that was internally financed!). Same thing with Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone, something like $30-40 billion dollar projects. In Treasurer's, you work as an in-house investment banker/project developer so I would assume that salaries are somewhere between IB (which pays well because it's a client/sales job) and Corporate (which has better hours and little to no pitching).

So, no hope for the top McCombs MBA who did not have a CHem E UG, even if they knock their grades/interviews out of the park?

Let's say I get into the McCombs program and do really well there (but no relevant WE before or CHEM E major), what can I hope to achieve?

Thank you.

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12/8/13

another alternative for people really interested in Big Oil is to apply and interview for staff finance positions outside of the elite rotational programs.... in finance, these will be more accounting in nature, and not high status by WSO standards. But you are inside the company. Then you can network over a number of years and angle for the job that you want. It may still not be possible to get Treasurer's in the early stages of your career, but you can definitely rise through the ranks of FP&A or in a business unit. These jobs won't be rotational and you won't be marked as a "high-potential", but you can still get into these companies without the Darwinian selection process of on-campus recruiting.

Energy companies run really lean- something like 75,000 people at Exxon generate $450 billion in revenue. So starting as a staff accountant and getting a CPA is a good approach,

12/8/13

MichaelHutchens:

another alternative for people really interested in Big Oil is to apply and interview for staff finance positions outside of the elite rotational programs.... in finance, these will be more accounting in nature, and not high status by WSO standards. But you are inside the company. Then you can network over a number of years and angle for the job that you want. It may still not be possible to get Treasurer's in the early stages of your career, but you can definitely rise through the ranks of FP&A or in a business unit. These jobs won't be rotational and you won't be marked as a "high-potential", but you can still get into these companies without the Darwinian selection process of on-campus recruiting.

Energy companies run really lean- something like 75,000 people at Exxon generate $450 billion in revenue. So starting as a staff accountant and getting a CPA is a good approach,

This is the advice I have heard about the oil industry as well. Breaking in it's the main hurdle, as it's an extremely competitive feat. It's much more likely you'll get the job you want if you break in and then worry about your dream position in the industry.

12/8/13

No doors will be closed to you from McCombs. It is a relatively small FT MBA program but has the best network in the energy industry. I think one of the three MBA interns at Chevron last year went to UT (from the Twitter information).

Energy companies- particularly Chevron and Shell- are very behavioral/leadership-focused in interviews. You will definitely be able to be pre-selected or bid your way to getting interviews with the majors at McCombs.

So being able to speak about your success in leading a team or an organization are very important. People who get second rounds at these places are really good at speaking about themselves.

I think Treasurer's is more technical and will be tough unless you can convince them that you are a subject matter financial expert- e.g. CFA/CPA, IB at a BB or MBB pre-MBA or BA development program graduate at a leading energy company. But I would suggest looking at Linkedin for people who have these roles. Quite a few did business/econ vs. engineering (engineering impresses interviewers a lot more though since everyone knows engineering is really tough),

12/10/13

MichaelHutchens:

No doors will be closed to you from McCombs. It is a relatively small FT MBA program but has the best network in the energy industry. I think one of the three MBA interns at Chevron last year went to UT (from the Twitter information).

Energy companies- particularly Chevron and Shell- are very behavioral/leadership-focused in interviews. You will definitely be able to be pre-selected or bid your way to getting interviews with the majors at McCombs.

So being able to speak about your success in leading a team or an organization are very important. People who get second rounds at these places are really good at speaking about themselves.

I think Treasurer's is more technical and will be tough unless you can convince them that you are a subject matter financial expert- e.g. CFA/CPA, IB at a BB or MBB pre-MBA or BA development program graduate at a leading energy company. But I would suggest looking at Linkedin for people who have these roles. Quite a few did business/econ vs. engineering (engineering impresses interviewers a lot more though since everyone knows engineering is really tough),

Sorry, one more question.

What is the path into the majors for a person who does their MBA and then does ~2 years at MBB Houston or does ~2 years as an Associate in Banking in Houston?

How can a person with that profile work their way into Exxon/BP etc?

12/15/13

I would agree that it would be difficult to network into O&G firms post MBA if you're in consulting or IB, even in Houston. I have heard from someone that their corp dev/strat teams are constantly pinged by those in consulting and IB although they don't have the positions open for that type of demand, unlike IB/consulting.

12/8/15

I got promoted to an associate in banking and had a contact at Exxon who looked into corp dev for me - the feedback she got was I would only be considered coming from a top MBA program

12/8/13

A lot of the positions described seem quite technical, are any of the leadership programs more general managment? Do any of the majors have a strategy group with mbas?

12/9/13

O&G is a technical business and engineering with an MBA is the best way to move up int he ranks. I think the responses on this topic have been spot on.

12/11/13

Hey Mongoose, surprisingly difficult- oil companies are notorious for an "us vs. them" attitude and most midcareer and senior jobs (in commercial roles) are reserved for internal candidates. The typical path for most business jobs is to study engineering, get a technical job with one of the majors at 22 and then get a part-time MBA at University of Houston, Rice, UT-Dallas or UT-Austin. Treasurer's is different in that they primarily recruit a handful of people from top MBA programs.

Based on my conversations with campus recruiters, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP, etc. are really looking for people who will spend 30-40 years with the company. I guess if one were a world-class geophysicist, then the oil companies would be interested in poaching staff, but for finance roles (which can be done by any reasonably smart person), it seems being a "company-man" is the most important qualification.

When I was in grad school a few years ago, I joined the energy club at school and went on a trek to Houston which included stops at Bain, BCG, McKinsey, Booz, Deloitte, and Accenture, Shell, Total, Exxon and Chevron. The consulting firms kind of complained that very little of their work was provided by the majors. Perhaps owing to the technical nature of their business problems, the majors are reluctant to engage strategy consultants.

I don't want to be a downer, people do get these jobs, so why not you. My sense however is that networking is not a big part of the recruiting process (Shell actively discourages any form of networking- interviewers and campus reps cannot give out their business cards and emails). So my advice would be definitely try for the majors but keep your options open and consider other firms (like Apache, Anadarko, Schlumberger, Haliburton, Baker Hughes, Cameron, FMC, Transocean and the smaller E&P companies).

12/11/13

Although I agree with what a lot of what you guys are saying I think there are definitely exceptions to the rule. The major I'm at, we have guys with pure finance backgrounds in strategy and M&A roles. One guy was in IB before going to Wharton and now he's a senior Economist working in the UK, before that role he was doing Strategy in Houston. One guy I know was a CPA and he managed an entire offshore rig full of engineers....he was their boss.

I will say though that the guy from Wharton ended up doing courses in Engineering at A&M just to understand the business.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

12/11/13

pacman007:

Although I agree with what a lot of what you guys are saying I think there are definitely exceptions to the rule. The major I'm at, we have guys with pure finance backgrounds in strategy and M&A roles. One guy was in IB before going to Wharton and now he's a senior Economist working in the UK, before that role he was doing Strategy in Houston. One guy I know was a CPA and he managed an entire offshore rig full of engineers....he was their boss.

I will say though that the guy from Wharton ended up doing courses in Engineering at A&M just to understand the business.

Makes sense. I think the point that cannot be stressed enough is to get into O&G earlier rather than later if you're interested. It is very much a good ole boys culture.

12/15/13

I knew some classmates who recruited for the big O&G firms for post MBA. Chevron's HQ is in California, so if you're looking to climb up the ladder you will need to spend a few rotations abroad and eventually relocate to CA. They do have an office in Houston, but if you're working in finance and not engineering, most likely you will want to hob nob in CA. Exxon I've heard that it is very political. Main HQ for Exxon is Dallas, so again, if you're in Houston you might want to consider other O&G firms - I may not have the best knowledge for that. I do know they are building (or have built) a large office in the Woodlands (north Houston suburb) but not sure if they are moving HQ there.

To my knowledge, these firms won't directly place you into corp dev roles, and rotation into those "popular" groups are few and far between. Most of their rotations are not going to be M&A in nature, so you will need to think about whether you are interested in roles such as accounting, treasury, supply chain, etc. Another must in these rotational programs is that they require you to rotate every few years or so into different roles to "groom" you into future leadership positions into the company. This could be a pro or con for you.

I doubt the pay straight out of post MBA (all in) will terribly exceed $100-110. I would venture it could be closer to $110, but this is just conjecture from career services. True, hours are better - especially if you're doing back office type work such as treasury, but it comes at a cost.

12/15/13

majors have plenty of bright, committed engineers to promote into managment/commercial positions, so they are not exactly gagging to hire mba shitheads

12/18/13

Correct. The best oil & gas companies are driven by the best science and engineering available. This ensure's optimum possible mix of superior short-term production results and long term asset development. You don't HAVE to be an engineer or geologist to accomplish this, but you'd definitely be at a disadvantage.

"Finance" guys introduce too much financial engineering, which is a pseudo-science, into the overall mix of oil & gas operations that dilutes their science and engineering's effectiveness. Chesapeake is a perfect example. Although they have excellent technical guys, all of Aubrey's wheeling and dealing has got them into major trouble, and forced them to drill hundreds of uneconomical wells to hold their leases.

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Best Response
12/15/13

Non-engineers can break into the rotational MBA Commercial Development programs. I know a Columbia MBA grad who did just that via a major program. Every 6 months you are rotating to a different BU in a different capacity, with several rotations being overseas. You usually will work on a major capital project being developed in one of those roles. If I recall correctly, it is a 2 year deal and then they set you off as a high potential/future leader on a fast track. The pay is good, but nothing compared to top flight energy banking. Long term to them means 20 years, not 3-5. Although some companies are beginning to be more business school friendly (CVX is one of them), the Reservoir Engineers/Petroleum Economists are still the kings of the Majors A&D world with little exception. As others have mentioned, internal talent is strong so all that bullshit that impresses folks in IBD doesn't matter as much to the majors.

I believe they were bringing those rotational program MBAs on around 130k base, bonus is chicken shit, usually 15% annual. Thing is, this business takes time. Promotions take time and no matter how fast you think you are moving, you won't see big money until your late 40s early 50s. Slow and steady game but you have a real life. A lot of folks like to say they bust their ass in the majors but they have no real point of reference. If you put in 9.5 hours-10 hours a day you are considered a workaholic. If you show up on the every other Friday off, well you are either slow or cant prioritize your work properly. The environment is generally very laid back, and at 4:15 most of the van pools are out the door. The most important way to move up is to be polished, be polite to everyone and do not get pissy in meetings; show a strong technical foundation but also a big picture mindset of the business.

Once you are in, if you aren't a total moron, you are pretty much gold across any oil company across the world. The right people can also breakout and go into high finance.

2/22/14

I have information for you. Just some background I was deciding between consulting and oil&gas for an MBA internship. I chose oil&gas since I knew what industry I wanted to focus on

This summer I'll be joining one of CVX's MBA graduate summer internship programs. These internship programs are feeders to the post-MBA rotational programs. I was very surprised about how competitive these roles are, like LouisWinthorpe3 mentioned above CVX only takes a handful of students for each program nationally.

If you intern with CVX for the summer you will most likely either be in San Ramon (HQ) or Houston. I can't speak for Post-MBA compensation yet, but from an internship perspective you're looking at 8k/mth +Relocation. Relocation includes Expense Allowance +Travel/Mileage + Housing. Housing ranges from 1k -> 2k/mth depending on where you are interning. As an graduate intern you're eligible for the retirement program. 8 percent of pay if you contribute at least 2 percent of your pay. Hours are 9/80 so you get every other Friday off.

That's all the info I have currently. I'll be back in a year if I remember and let you know what post-mba salary looks like. If you have any specific questions feel free to message me. Hope this helps anyone else looking to get into energy.

3/17/14

Pure luck aside, you'll need to be an engineer to get into A&D at a major. You probably won't even be in the same building as decision makers, so don't waste your time dreaming of an elevator-pitch scenario either. Rex Tillerson's shoe-shiner will have a better chance of making it into XOM A&D than you. As a business major you will be in a cube farm of kohl's-khakis-skechers-loafers-izod-polos and that is all you will ever know. The excitement of your month will be a chili cook-off where you sample 20 home-made, quite-possibly bowel-wrenching, dixie cups full of nearly indecipherable chunks from Tim's godforsaken kitchen at home - re-heated in a crock pot in the break room. There will be a kooky admin with a headset. You will never be those oil exec guys in "Syriana" without an engineering degree. The ONLY way around this fate is to go to an Independent (e.g. Concho) where there's more mobility for smart people who can contribute in a dynamic way. If you think you want to work/travel internationally, then target an independent with a more international focus (e.g. Kosmos).

Of course to get in at an Independent on the finance side at a sufficiently high level (while still under 35), you'll need to have been IB and to have networked like a fiend. Once you make it to this point (this is where I begin spitballing), try to earn a PetE degree in your spare time. Maybe then, when you're 40ish, have experience at a respected independent, know people at high levels, have a PetE degree, have M&A experience and you're respectable MBA, etc....Maybe then you can make it into A&D at a major and be all Connex-Killen???

3/18/14

Pretty harsh commentary, no? And your wrong, I've encountered a few non-technical / engineering A&D people at XOM and BP on some deals in the past.

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: /guide/private-equit...

4/1/14

monkeybonez:

Pure luck aside, you'll need to be an engineer to get into A&D at a major. You probably won't even be in the same building as decision makers, so don't waste your time dreaming of an elevator-pitch scenario either. Rex Tillerson's shoe-shiner will have a better chance of making it into XOM A&D than you. As a business major you will be in a cube farm of kohl's-khakis-skechers-loafers-izod-polos and that is all you will ever know. The excitement of your month will be a chili cook-off where you sample 20 home-made, quite-possibly bowel-wrenching, dixie cups full of nearly indecipherable chunks from Tim's godforsaken kitchen at home - re-heated in a crock pot in the break room. There will be a kooky admin with a headset. You will never be those oil exec guys in "Syriana" without an engineering degree. The ONLY way around this fate is to go to an Independent (e.g. Concho) where there's more mobility for smart people who can contribute in a dynamic way. If you think you want to work/travel internationally, then target an independent with a more international focus (e.g. Kosmos).

Of course to get in at an Independent on the finance side at a sufficiently high level (while still under 35), you'll need to have been IB and to have networked like a fiend. Once you make it to this point (this is where I begin spitballing), try to earn a PetE degree in your spare time. Maybe then, when you're 40ish, have experience at a respected independent, know people at high levels, have a PetE degree, have M&A experience and you're respectable MBA, etc....Maybe then you can make it into A&D at a major and be all Connex-Killen???


I bet John Watson would be interested in your perspective...
12/8/15

My current CEO would beg to differ.... he has a civil engineering degree and used to run an integrated's entire North American operations. Additionally I've worked with some A&D people in the past without petroleum engineering degrees - and they do just fine. It doesn't matter whether you learn what you need to know in school or on the job.

8/5/14

This is a fascinating thread.

8/26/14

Just curious... when you say you have to be an engineer to get into A&D at a major, do you mean an engineer with an MBA or are those solely engineers?

I'm just a prospective monkey for now. BS in Mech Eng, MS in Mech Eng from top 10, then 4 years at SLB - 2 years offshore work then 2 years petrotechnical services. Got a second masters in Pet Eng from A&M while doing the office work at SLB. 740 GMAT in the books and applying Round 1 to M7 plus a few outside of top 7, namely UT. Had hopes set on MIT or Wharton but after reading this post it seems like maybe UT would be a better choice? With my background it'd be dumb to go anywhere but o&g, so maybe just stick to energy finance at UT and network instead of heading east? Energy HFs probably prefer BB bankers over Big Oil experience?

8/27/14

grattydaddy:

Just curious... when you say you have to be an engineer to get into A&D at a major, do you mean an engineer with an MBA or are those solely engineers?

I'm just a prospective monkey for now. BS in Mech Eng, MS in Mech Eng from top 10, then 4 years at SLB - 2 years offshore work then 2 years petrotechnical services. Got a second masters in Pet Eng from A&M while doing the office work at SLB. 740 GMAT in the books and applying Round 1 to M7 plus a few outside of top 7, namely UT. Had hopes set on MIT or Wharton but after reading this post it seems like maybe UT would be a better choice? With my background it'd be dumb to go anywhere but o&g, so maybe just stick to energy finance at UT and network instead of heading east? Energy HFs probably prefer BB bankers over Big Oil experience?

While I found that post with the chili cook off to be funny as hell, the short answer is no, you don't have to be an engineer to be in A&D. Usually an A&D team has a combination of Res Engineers, Business Planning Types (with Business only backgrounds) and some combination of the two along with some folks with IBD experience ( who may be engrs as well or just finance guys.) Your post/questions jumped around a bit but what I would tell you is if you want to work Wall Street, you already have enough industry experience and should go for the M7 type MBA. UT can get you there too, but UT is not a super target for top energy hedge funds. The M7 will give you options on east coast down south, UT will be more limited to the south. When considering career longevity, M7 will be better regardless of if you go to Big Oil or IBD or Energy Fund.

9/10/14

I am a preMBA. I am currently working at Deloitte, but getting actively recruited by Shell Grad Programme. Would they pay for my masters in IT (I want Carnegie Mellon?) and let me leave to attend these masters like Deloitte?
Currently Deloitte is paying me 80k. You think Shell's grad programme can match that?

12/9/14

great thread guys. i heard chevron commercial development internship class got killed for full time offering rate. given the current state of oil markets what do you guys think about hiring?

12/16/14

BP cancelled their 2015 Future Leaders Programme, too.

12/19/14

huh interesting.....is this directly related to tough times in the oil biz or a larger move away from MBAs? the classes seemed really small to begin with

2/5/15

Any insights on what types of questions to expect at an in-person interview for these types of positions?

2/7/15

it's tough as hell to get into an oil major as a post-MBA. the screening rate is similar to IB front office (I maintain contacts in HR in the major I work for). once an MBA gets in, and I've worked with several from Insead and Wharton, they're on the management track and rotate between roles every 2 or so years. salary/work/life balance is attractive if you're a family sort, however if you're chasing money go join banking instead.

12/8/15

Hello everyone
I am new here. I am.an petroleum engg Grad from India. Working as drilling professional since 2004. Finally thought of taking break and do something new. I am very much interested in MBA but as I know oil and gas no matter what I learn I will return to same old system SOS.
I was searching to see what is the acceptance of e&p companies towards MBA. Found that shell has been recruiting MBA interns. And during Google search finally landed in correct place.
By far I found this blog very much logical and true for oil and gas companies. That's even I am wondering due to shattered oil prices jobs are still away of sight. In such scenario I want to do MBA in UK in one year but I am.not sure whether I will able to change my domain from well engineer to projects, finance etc. Lateral.movement into management. Please guide me.
Regards,
Narendra

12/8/15

Just wanted to say, this is a great thread.

1/13/16

I work for a supermajor (Shell/BP/Exxon). I'm currently in my fourth assignment so far and am considered a high flyer/achiever, so I humbly believe (ironic, lol?) that I know a thing or two about how career planning works in O&G supermajors.

First of all, the 'business' (typically the "your manager's manager" level and above) decides where to put you for your next assignment/role. Your first position will typically be pretty random in terms of what you project as your "professional interest". If you are an outstanding professional, you could have quite a strong say in where you would like to be placed next. At the very least, you can say "No thanks, I'd like to wait for role X, which is my goal", if the 'business' decides to place you in a role that you think you would not like.

Based on my experience, I see the process of getting rotated to "where you want" as follows:

You decide what you want -> You inform your manager during a "1 to 1" -> Your manager reaches out to the manager of the person who you'd like to replace -> They discuss whether it's viable or not (do you meet their criteria, are they planning any staff changes etc.) -> They both reach out to their respective managers (depending how high they are on the totem pole) -> The 'business' (see above) discusses employee moves during the Employee Development Committee's "Quarterly Employee Ranking and Development Network" -> Employees are ranked into performance groups (top third, middle third, bottom third) -> Based on how good your perform and how much your proxy likes/knows you, he/she bats for you and tries to secure the position you want -> Respective parties get endorsements/approvals for the move -> Your position is communicated to you

Also, please be aware that if you want to land a solid C-level gig down the road, 99% of time you are actively encouraged (read: required) to undertake an assignment in audit and one overseas in a controller/treasurer type role.

I concur with the folks who mentioned that O&G is a very bureaucratic, clubby, political and long-term focused business. However, the obvious benefits are job security and work/life balance.

Hope that's of any value to anyone out there. If you have any more questions on the specifics of O&G work, drop me a PM.

3/24/16

It's really good information. I did not find any other blog which specifically discusses about MBA options in O&G companies.

I have one question. I am planning to do MBA from UK. May be Imperial college, Manchester business school, university of Edinburgh or Cranfield university. So do I have a chance to apply for chevron or Exxon Mobil MBA programms?

4/19/16

Post-2008 Exxon decided to discontinue OCR in Europe. They used to be pretty big on LBS, RSM and Bocconi for downstream and chemical business lines recruitment. The US has gained near-exclusive OCR focus since then. Treasury-focused targets are Wharton, Rice, Harvard and MIT. For controllers they shop at LSU, Kellogg, Kenan-Flagler and Duke.

Both Shell and BP have always done OCR in the UK/Europe, as they are the least US-centric of the majors, so I'm sure that there is opportunity there. I can't speak for Imperial, MBS, Edinburgh or Cranfield in particular, but I've seen both Shell and BP appear on LBS employment reports in the internship/post-MBA sections, so I would posit that other schools in the UK are given at least some attention.

Chevron are not that big in Europe, so there isn't much OCR going on. Targets for them in the US are mainly southern/regional schools such as Cox, A&M, UH, UT Austin, Notre Dame, Kellogg.

4/19/16

This thread is great. It cleared a lot of doubts. Thanks to you all.

I am an experienced drilling engineer from India. I have 5 years of international work ex and 6 years of local work ex. I prepared for 4 months but could not score good. I am thinking of online MBA from following institutes and find full time job. I know that big oil companies hire mainly full time students. But still, I want to confirm my options.
1. Thunderbird SGM online MBA
2. University of texas at permian basin online MBA
3. Imperial college online MBA
4. Warwick online MBA
5. University of liverpool online MBA.

My target industry is oil and gas. I understand that there are issues for companies to hire from Asia or other places but I am just working towards strengthening my profile. Also the big oil companies development programs keep trainees rotating all around the world. (I never unpack my bags)

Fees is not an issue. I can't continue to invest time in GMAT. I have already taken one year off from my career to decide how to progress ahead and I can't continue to wait for another year. I chose these institutes solely on the basis of alumni who are working in senior positions in big oil through linkedin. Also these courses require 2-3 weeks on-campus attendance in 3 years course or none for UTPB and thunderbird. But I am not sure whether thunderbird, UTPB and liverpool is a good choice. what do you think?

The other choice could be Northeastern online MBA. but they don't have any alumni in oil and gas.

Regards,
Narendra

4/19/16

I'd go with Thunderbird/UTPB for several reasons:

1) MBA in Europe is "not there yet", and I'm referring to full-time. You do the math, but the chances of breaking into O&G with an online MBA, which is not nearly at the same level as a full-time programme is, are pretty slim. Euro-centric majors (Total, Shell, BP) do OCR mainly at top schools. As noted above, I can speak for LBS from hard evidence, but I don't have information on other schools.

2) I tend to think that in the US scene you'd have a greater chance in security "something" in O&G which you could leverage to somehow work/network your way up. I have business experience in Europe, and things are not nearly as relationship based as they are on the other side of the pond.

3) You could potentially win a green card, which would make life easier. EU quotas are being aggressively squeezed as time goes on, so it's an uphill battle for non-EU folks.

4) Thunderbird/UTPB are sort-of-niche O&G schools - I know for a fact that we have several alums from both schools in my company. I know that the downstream occasionally sends up-and-coming managers to Thunderbird for seminars, so there is some critical mass in terms of brand recognition. And well, UT is basically the heart of Texas, which is basically the heart of O&G in the US, so you'd be in the right place at least conceptually. Now, unfortunately I can't tell you whether A or B is right - you'd have to make an educated decision for yourself.

10/12/16

New to WSO, so I apologize for not PM'ing but can't seem to find how to do that from my phone! I'm currently looking at professional MBA programs in the Houston area- namely rice, a&m and u of h. At this point my dream job post mba would be either consulting (for the stability, unlike current state of o&g), o&g finance, or something closely related. Being someone that's where I'd like to eventually be, I would greatly appreciate your advice. Could you please PM me if you get the chance? In desperate need of some direction as I'm worried I'll make the wrong choice of mba program! TIA!

4/19/16

100k base at the majors. More if you go international - "danger pay"

It is better to be vaguely right than exactly wrong - JMK

4/19/16

Any info on the bonus figures?

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

4/19/16

Base in some roles is ~120. Bonus is more modest but that's just the nature of corporate world v. banking. As you progress, the bonuses become much more significant part of your comp. But that is another notable difference. Feedback at an Exxon or similar firm might be 10 years down the road (when you realize you're on the "high" or "low" road) whereas in banking, consulting, etc the feedback is much more immediate.

10/26/16

Hey! I can only talk for Shell and more specifically their HQ in The Hague, Netherlands. I work in a strategy related role, prefer not to tell more. I am in the rotational program and my salary is currently 4.2k euros/month + 3 months AWS + smallish personal bonus (Got markets to thank for that). So overall maybe 65k euros per year. But this is Europe, USA has higher wages and easier jobs (no, really :D all the heavy lifting is done in the HQ).

4/19/16

bump.

macpro what's your background? I'm a ChemE interested in more info about FT recruiting... particularly the recruiting timeframe / qualifications for Shell Trading and BP IST.

4/19/16

Also, not sure if it is different for trading but when I applied online to Shell and BP for upstream engineering roles, I didn't get my resume read at all, even after having someone refer me to the right people to contact. BP's website even promises a reply within 2 weeks (that didn't happen). The oil majors tend to not look outside their core recruiting schools which have recruiting starting in early September, so start applying really early like now.

4/19/16

I work for a major. Figure out if you know anyone in a company and have them get your resume in front of someone who is in charge of hiring. Outside of direct recruitment at a university if you have no industry experience you will not be considered at all. I was hired straight out of college from a university within their preferred set of schools. Oil Companies have had good luck getting the people they want from the schools they target and have little incentive to go after others. Unless you have impressive work experience in a related industry (refining, trading, market analysis) you will get passed over.

As for the roles in a major company there are many, mainly divided front vs. back office. Front office would be considered operations: trading, scheduling, and market analysis. Any other job (including risk) would probably be considered back office. Of course this is highly dependent on how big the shop is. Your best bet is to start simple: analysis only. Market analysis would be cream of the crop but if you can get a finance position it is not a bad way to start. Move from analyst to scheduler: spend a few years here. The best physical traders were schedulers beforehand. A scheduler that knows their market and product will do well as a trader.

Obviously, most want to be a trader but very few will get there. The jobs are highly competitive and sought after and do not come by easily. You will not get hired as a trader if you were not one before, so prove yourself at a company first.

Good luck!

Pro tip: Stay away from the contracts group. They don't sit by the traders nor do they get any exposure at all to what is going on in the business (at least at my company).

4/19/16

I am trying to get on with a crew boat or a rig. My history is a train engineer, but the economy doesnt supprt that much anymore. Trying to get a foot in the door any help or suggestions would be great.

4/19/16

Someone please reply...

4/19/16

As far as I'm concerned, they are one of the few companies who truly understand the idea of creation of shareholder value. With ethanol only netting about a $0.03 profit right now, which would turn negative the minute oil went to $40 or corn went to $5, bravo to Exxon for sticking to what it does best, instead of "diworsefying" itself.

4/19/16

the world will eventually need to replace oil as its source of energy... but it won't be with ethanol. There wouldn't be enough corn to go around and it takes too much oil just to produce ethanol in its factories.

It's one of those things too. is it worth taking away shareholder wealth to develop a product that will replace your product? or would you rather just wait around and have another company come up with an alternative. I think exxon believes that this product just doesnt exist. It might come back to haunt them like kodak has found out.

4/19/16

Good...we can laugh at them when oil goes to $400 per barrel, nobody buys gasoline anymore because BP and others came up with an alternative.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

4/19/16

Ya the world will switch that quick? Doubtful. Exxon/Mobil would be making huge bank if oil went to 400/barrel.

4/19/16

Not all oil goes to run engines like everyone seems to think. You have to think about a large proportion of plastics and not to mention lubrications. Exxon pumps that oil out and refines it, but doesn't necessarily make gasoline out of it. So even if the world is able to switch, as sleepy said, they will still be making huge bank at $400.

4/19/16

I forgot about plastics. Good point.

4/19/16

I applaud Exxon for sticking to its responsibility to maximize shareholder value and not undermine its core business. Afterall, why on earth would you invest money that will make your product and infrastructure obsolete? Frankly, I'd be concerned that if you came out with some magic alternative to oil, governments would simply break any IP you had on it, thus making you worse off than if you had just stuck to oil.

4/19/16

"Afterall, why on earth would you invest money that will make your product and infrastructure obsolete"
-> Simply because you have to evolve with you environment otherwise it makes YOU obsolete. Kodak example above was good.

Private investment in alternative fuels is clearly a strategic choice, but given $ oil companies are currently netting there's a small downside and huge upside.

4/19/16

You people know nothing about ethanol production.

There are far more efficient cost effective production methods.

Go google Fischer-Tropsch.

Buy yes, Ethanol is not the perfect solution.

Case and point, the bass ackwards Brazilians cut down the rainforest ro produce Ethanol.

Leave it to them to miss the point completely.

Refusing to keep up with evolving technology is not sticking to your guns, it's lazy.

Typical fat ass oil. a.k.a. the spiritual embodiment of the fat sweaty cowboy wearing jackass in Texas,a.k.a. the ugly American.

4/19/16

I'm sick of everyone saying that we need to go to hydrogen or electric cars, blah, blah, blah.(Especially from the envrionmental POV)

Enter the First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another. The total energy is constant within any system.

You have an electric car? That just means that the coal power plant down the road has to increase its production.

Hydrogen? Not going to get it out of the air. You have to use electrolysis, which again means drawing more power from a plant.

Even ethanol production requires a great deal of energy input.

The most affordable energy we can probably get is either solar, wind, or nuclear. Since the first two can be fairly unreliable, it stands to reason that nuclear power is the best solution to the energy problem.

(ChemE, I am but a lowly ME, so I may be talking out of my ass to an extent, but I feel that I have a rudimentary understanding...please dont burn me too badly. Oh, you may enjoy this: My thermo professor once went on a rant about how "There is no energy crisis, only an exergy crisis")

4/19/16

Whatev. If oil went to $400 per barrel, nobody would buy it. And plus, by then there WILL be cheaper alternatives developed by other companies that actually adapted to changing times. If Exxon wants to maximize shareholder value, then fire their useless executives. And same goes to Ford.

And we did it with oil 100 years ago, it's time for us to figure out another way to produce plastic other than with petroleum. And if bigoil doesn't want to invest in the future, then they DESERVE to go out of business.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

4/19/16
holymonkey:

Whatev. If oil went to $400 per barrel, nobody would buy it. And plus, by then there WILL be cheaper alternatives developed by other companies that actually adapted to changing times. If Exxon wants to maximize shareholder value, then fire their useless executives. And same goes to Ford.

And we did it with oil 100 years ago, it's time for us to figure out another way to produce plastic other than with petroleum. And if bigoil doesn't want to invest in the future, then they DESERVE to go out of business.

Well, if oil goes to $400 then initially people won't buy gasoline. But, the 25% of oil used in creating plastics and lubricants will still most likely be needed. Besides, by the time oil gets that high, I would imagine that all the demand for ethanol or other alternative sources will push their respective prices up and that the lack of demand for the oil will decrease the price, bringing the two back to a point like today where one day ethanol is cheaper and the next day oil is. Ethanol/biomass are still very questionable as viable sources in my opinion. Whether its corn, switchgrass, etc., ethanol and biomass require that land be used to grow the initial product be grown on land. I just don't see growing populations and growing demand for such crops as meshing well.

How has Exxon not maximized shareholder value? I guess being the most profitable company in the history of the U.S. is a paltry feat. Ford, yea. They have sucked when it comes to their shareholders. Exxon and Ford are in completely different camps though.

As far as it being "time to figure out another way to produce plastic," I think you should understand that just because you want innovation to happen doesnt mean it will. Companies are not going to go out and spend millions or billions on researching something like that while their competitors stay on the same path and rake in all those extra earnings thanks to their sustained margins and lower costs. A company run like that would be destined for failure.

4/19/16

Useless executives? Right, they were just responsible for earning the largest corporate profits in U.S. history. Sounds "useless" to me.

Here's something to read.

http://equityprivate.typepad.com/ep/2007/03/slippi...

4/19/16

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4/19/16

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

4/19/16
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