Any economic downturn is going to see a decrease in internships available for summer, but COVID-19 caused a much greater cancellation of 2020 internship programs across the industry. Most companies finally and fully experienced the intensity of what an O&G downturn is like in almost every sector of the economy. The liability, logistics and uncertainty of how COVID-19 would impact the work environment through the remainder of the year was reason enough for many corporations to cancel their summer internships last spring.
Robinson Drilling of Texas, Ltd. initiated a plan in the middle of COVID-19 to keep its commitment to Noah Harrison, a Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering student busy, learning, and paid from May 11- July 31 2020.
Initially kept at home for logistical reasons, Harrison performed research assignments to benefit Robinson, but the bulk of his first 5 weeks was focused on interviewing Vice Presidents, Drilling Managers and Superintendents with in-depth conversations over the phone and Zoom. He consulted with IADC for a list of relevant questions to ask and developed other subjects to discuss accordingly.
As the summer progressed, the COVID-19 protocols Robinson Drilling observed, and nationwide slowdown of the virus, provided a safe system for more hands-on experiences. COVID-19 safety protocols were still enforced, but Noah was brought to West Texas in a Phase 2 of his summer internship.
What Noah was itching to do most of all was work on a drilling rig. After some internal consultation, the Managing Partner and Superintendent decided to allow Noah the month of July on a rig. He reported to our Superintendent during July, and the two Rig Managers, as well as his shift driller.
A lot of contributors made Noah Harrison’s 2020 internship a success in the age of COVID-19 including Robinson Drilling’s vendors, customers, employees, Lone Star College, and the IADC who offered their unique services and expertise in the process.
Harrison has also been involved in the IADC Student Chapter at Texas A&M, currently serving as Chapter President.