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Operations Technician

Operations Technician

Name: Matthew Harris
Company: ExxonMobil Canada
Education: Diploma in Chemical Process Engineering, College of the North Atlantic
Offshore – Oil Production Installation and
Onshore – Office Building
Hometown: Carbonear, NL
Currently Living In: St. John’s, NL


“It’s always been a driving factor for me, the ability to have a career I enjoy while still being able to live at home in Newfoundland. There’s a variety of opportunities for graduates of the program I studied, but I feel especially fortunate that I was able to achieve my goal of working in oil and gas.” 

Education and Personal Background

Matthew is a graduate of the Chemical Process Engineering program at College of the North Atlantic. He says he chose the program because it was the first year it was offered, and it seemed to have great job prospects. Through his program, Matthew completed oil and gas industry work terms in Alberta and St. John’s.

“I was very lucky to get those work terms. Both were very influential in my decision to pursue a career in oil and gas,” he says.

Along with his college diploma, Matthew has completed a number of training courses to specifically prepare him for working offshore. 

Duties and Work Environment

Matthew works eight-hour days in an office in St. John’s, with occasional trips offshore. Matthew reviews operations documents to make sure the technical details are accurate. He also assists in preparing training materials for employees, and helps with the preparation of the work management system that will be used by the Hebron Gravity Based Structure (GBS) – oil production installation. He says his position will likely have him offshore full-time once Hebron starts producing. Matthew says it’s important for him to be flexible and to embrace the daily challenges he’s offered.

“All of my tasks require me to work closely with experienced personnel on our team, so I’m provided with excellent learning opportunities every day. As a new hire with the company, I try to take advantage of every chance I’m given to improve and progress in my work. I consider myself very lucky to be working with a project like Hebron.”  

Questions and Answers

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

I was told not to be disheartened if things don’t happen right away. I was told this during college, and still follow the advice to this day. Whether you’re pursuing your first job, or progressing through the one you already have, it’s very important to have patience. If you work hard and bring forward a positive attitude, good things will come your way. If it doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d like, try not to get down on yourself or get frustrated.

What do you enjoy about your job? 

Without a doubt, what I enjoy most would be the people I get to work with each day. As the project progresses, our team continues to grow, each time with another group of excellent individuals coming on board. We have a great mix of new hires like me who are eager to learn, and more experienced workers who have so much knowledge about the industry. The people I work with make each workday enjoyable.

What inspires you most at work?

I’m really inspired by the fact that Hebron is such an immense project, and how it has impacted Newfoundland and Labrador. It makes me feel very proud to be part of the project, especially at such an early stage. This motivates me to work hard and always give my best effort as we prepare for when the platform is ready for offshore operations.