Hello CSS Community: My name is Miles Harriston and I am a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering. This past summer, I interned with ExxonMobil in Beaumont, TX. Overall, the experience was one of the most fulfilling of my life and allowed me to finally see what it is that chemical engineers can do as a career.
I worked at ExxonMobil for a total of 11 weeks as a process design engineer. As a process designer, I was tasked with two different projects on the Beaumont Refinery. For the first project, I was tasked with designing a caustic injection quill, which was a small part of a much grander (dubbed a “Top 5”) project. For the second project, I had to design the replacement of underground sulfur seals with above ground ones, and I took that project almost all the way through the Stage 2 design as the lead designer. In order to successfully complete the tasks delegated to me, I had to learn many of aspects of the position on the fly. I also had to reach out to senior engineers, engineering specialists, and operators in order to make sure I received a variety of point of views for each projects’ final outcome. I would say that the most important lesson I learned over the summer is that in the workforce, nothing can get done unless you take initiative and go after what you need.
This position helped to shape my career path by showing me the positives of working in the oil industry (job security, great pay, favorable work environment), and by providing me with an example of an occupation chemical engineers participate in. Next summer, I will be returning to ExxonMobil in order to determine whether or not the oil and gas industry is a field I would like to start my career in.