As September approaches, oil and gas university graduates begin hunting for their first jobs. Where can they go? Will their expectations be met? What are the chances that any offered vacancy will be the right one? What about the prospects for career growth? Innovator talked to TNKBP Corporate Training Department Director, Marina Pakhomkina, to seek answers to these and other questions related to the opportunities the Company offers to young specialists.
"Each year, TNK-BP hires about 300 young specialists," says Pakhomkina. "Let me make this clear right away – in our understanding, a young specialist is a university graduate with a degree in an area of expertise related to the oil and gas industry, who graduated no more than three years ago. The age limit is 30. The applicant's profession should, as a rule, fit the Company's operations profile." Our Company has good experience in handling young professionals – according to the recent TargeT'2005 survey conducted by Moscow's Karyera (Career) magazine, TNK-BP tops the ranking of Russia's 20 best corporate employers of young specialists. The rating was based on studying the following four factor groups: status and career growth, personal and professional development, compensation and guarantees, and working conditions. The survey results confirmed that the Company is on the right track and its future will remain in safe hands as long as our experienced staff continues to have suitable replacements from the ranks of aspiring younger engineers and other specialists.
According to Pakhomkina, TNK-BP is in the final stages of preparing a new corporate program for young specialists, which should help them smoothly integrate into the Company's operations and should clearly define their future professional prospects. The "Three
Horizons" is a three-year program structured in three one-year stages. In the initial stage, the key target for young employees will be to adapt to the new working environment. The second year will be dedicated to intensive development of professional knowledge and skills. One of the program's goals requires young employees to help build TNK-BP's corporate identity. Another key target is the promotion of innovative and creative thinking among those who will build the Company's future. There are plenty of examples of young engineers' projects that are successfully implemented by the Company, eventually producing remarkable economic benefits. On these pages, we have singled out four such projects (see table).
Young employees have an opportunity to develop their talents at technical conferences held at three different levels – within their enterprise, on a regional level, and finally at TNK-BP's corporate conference. Drawing on similar experience at one of our heritage companies, TNK, our Corporate Training Dept. went a step further and adopted a unified conference program, adding to it an HSE section. In November 2004, TNK-BP held in Moscow its first corporate technical conference for young staff members. The event's pool of participants was also enlarged. "We have divided participants in two groups: young specialists and young employees (30 or older)," says Pakhomkina. "We believe it would not be right to compare the accomplishments of the young people who are in their first year with the Company with those who already have six or seven years of experience behind them."
Innovators Widen Horizons
The conference's eight winners were awarded trips to London, where they visited BP headquarters, met their British colleagues and toured BP's Wytch Farm oilfield, one of the most technologically advanced production sites in the world.
"What grabbed our attention immediately? The well pad is fully asphalted, the dike is cast concrete," says one of the winners, Alexander Doroshenko, who works as deputy head of the Technology Department at Nizhnevartovsk's Regional Services Center. "Everything is done for the convenience of people: sound insulation, buildings are not taller than trees, so they don't stick out. Trees are planted around the well pads – it's a whole pine forest. We were told that up to 20,000 trees were planted. All buildings, oil pipelines and tanks are painted a discreet khaki color."
No less impressive than the London trip was the British students' visit to Nizhnevartovsk in May. About 20 young petroleum engineering students from London's prestigious Imperial College visited Western Siberia at the invitation of TNK-BP. The guests took part in the regional technical conference's Petroleum Geology and Exploration and Oil and Gas Production sections.
The Industry's Golden Youth
This year, TNK-BP's talented innovators Maxim Romanov (RNPK), Andranik Palanjants (Orenburgneft) and Yury Loskutnikov (Orenburgneft) scored another major achievement – they captured three prizes in the annual innovations contest, jointly organized by Russia's Ministry of Industry and Energy and NS Integratsiya. Traditionally, the contest's participants include representatives of all Russian energy majors such as LUKOIL, Gazprom, Rosneft, YUKOS, SIBUR, Transneft and RAO UES of Russia.
The contest winners also took part in the industry's largest trade show – Moscow's biannual MIOGE-2005 oil and gas exhibition. Their projects were presented in a special booth.
"Reliance on innovation is one of the major principles of the industry strategy of the Ministry of Industry and Energy," said Minister Viktor Khristenko. "In order to bring this initiative to life, we need to use Russia's intellectual potential embodied in young people who work for companies and can play an important role in reaching this goal." TNK-BP will continue to implement the minister's words in practice.