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Henrietta Sorel Cameron

​Why did you choose the KCA Deutag Graduate Development Programme?

When I was looking at different career options during my final year at university, I knew that I wanted a job which involved travelling and would give me an opportunity to use my languages (I was studying for an M.A in Arabic & Spanish), and that wouldn't be your average 9-5 job. Through my university's careers department I attended a presentation by KCA Deutag who were recruiting for their Graduate Development Programme. As I sat through the talk I realised that, as a company, KCA Deutag could give me exactly what I wanted so my mind was made up and I applied the next day.



​Describe life on the programme?
It certainly didn't disappoint! Within a month of starting the job I was assigned to a drill crew in Spain, where I stayed for another year and a half working my way up through the positions. This was quickly followed by assignments in Russia, Germany, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Myanmar and Angola. I definitely got the travel in that I wanted! Once I had completed the more technical aspects of the training, the roles I was put into ranged from Risk Focal Point (Germany), Rig Site Supervisor (Iraq) and Project Lead (Angola). During this time I was given every opportunity to explore as much of the company as I could, working across different business units but knowing that I was always working towards being an Assistant Rig Manager, which was my goal for the end of the programme.

What was the highlight of the programme?
I completed the programme in July 2014 and I would have to say the highlight was working in Myanmar. At the time there were no western companies established there, so it was very much still a developing country. Our office was on Lake Inya in the capital city Yangon and across the lake we could see Aung San Suu Khi's house. We were a small team made up of expats and Myanmarese and there was a lot of work to do as it was a difficult start-up, but we ended up establishing a good relationship with the client and got the platform drilling. I made friends in the team during my time out there who I am still in contact with now. It was a great experience and the fact that we were also able to explore the country on weekends which was a bonus too.  


What was your biggest challenge?
After joining the programme I was given the opportunity to study for an MSc in Drilling and Well Engineering. It was an offer I grabbed with both hands. However it was by far the toughest challenge I experienced during my time on the Graduate Development Programme. We studied through distance learning and it was the full course with coursework to submit and exams to sit. It took 3 years to complete and I did it whilst working on a drill crew, so juggling an intensely physical job with studying and in a remote location was tough. It was also challenging because, as a languages graduate, it was the first time I had done any sort of maths in years!

What experience did you gain on the programme?
In terms of professional experience, the technical knowledge is invaluable, particularly in my current role as an Assistant Rig Manager. The MSc in Drilling and Well Engineering has been incredibly helpful too when reviewing well programmes which we often have to do. From a personal point of view, I would say that I have been incredibly fortunate to visit countries I would never have dreamed of going to, to train people on rig sites, and to mix with people who I wouldn't normally have had a chance to meet. So I think it has inevitably made me more balanced as a person. The experiences, both physical and mental will stay with me forever and are constantly applicable to me now in my role as an Assistant Rig Manager.