Name: Mark Burry
Job Title: Reservoir Engineer
Company: ExxonMobil Canada
Education: Bachelor of Engineering in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering, Memorial University
Location: Onshore – Office Building
Hometown: Glovertown, NL
Currently Living In: St. John’s, NL
Education and Personal Background
Mark Burry is a graduate of the Bachelor of Engineering program at Memorial University.
“I chose engineering because I am an analytical thinker, and because I have always had a strong appetite for math and science. At the time I enrolled in the program, I didn’t even realize the great job opportunities in the local oil and gas industry!”
Within the engineering program, Mark specialized in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering. In this program, he learned about the design and construction of ships, offshore structures, and other types of floating and underwater equipment used in the oil and gas industry.
“Hardly any of the work I do today has ties to the specific area of engineering I studied in school but most of the engineering skills I learned in school are broadly applicable,” he says.
Mark says high school courses in math, physics, and chemistry helped him prepare for post-secondary studies. He also feels that high school English courses and public speaking activities helped him develop his written and oral communication skills, which are important in his job.
Duties and Work Environment
Mark works in downtown St. John’s, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. His job involves analyzing data and using specialized computer programs to help the company identify the costs of drilling for oil in specific places. He uses scientific methods to identify the volumes of oil in a given reservoir, and how quickly the oil can be extracted.
“I create models on the computer that are used to predict the behavior of oil wells. I also have to understand economics, in order to identify project costs and justify the company spending money on specific activities.”
Mark says one of the great things about working with ExxonMobil Canada has been the continuous opportunities for training in his field.
“In the two years I’ve worked here, I’ve travelled to Texas multiple times to attend training courses. To me, this demonstrates the company’s commitment to developing employees’ technical expertise, and I certainly feel like a more competent engineer because of it.”
Questions and Answers
What has surprised you about working in the oil and gas industry?
I’ve been surprised how much value is placed on real-life experience versus formal education. Industry experience seems to be the most valuable commodity you can have as a professional trying to go places.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the opportunity to apply my creative thinking and problem solving skills to the real world. I also enjoy getting to work with and learn from such a great team of smart people.
What inspires you most at work?
I’m inspired by my mentors, and by my employer’s commitment to my continual growth as an employee.
If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
I’d like an office with a window. Other than that, I’m very content!