Roughneck Camp is one of the legacy events established by the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) of the SPE Gulf Coast Section. Roughneck Camp invites “new” technical professionals (engineers, geologists, geophysicists, et al.) in the Houston area to network and learn about the benefits SPE has to offer young members. The program is designed to assist students entering the work force in transferring their active participation from their SPE student chapter to their local industry SPE chapter. Participants include summer interns and new graduates with fewer than 5 years of experience. It is a fun-filled afternoon, beginning with an icebreaker and introductions to active SPE members. Speakers from different committees are invited to talk about volunteer opportunities within the Society, professional development opportunities, the benefits of being an active SPE member, and the importance of networking with the next generation of petroleum professionals.
ELP members hosted the third annual Roughneck Camp at the Marathon Oil Tower on 22 July 2004. It was one of the largest and most successful events, with more than 100 young petroleum professionals in attendance. The event included industry speakers, breakout sessions, and a panel discussion. Speakers included Bryant Mueller of Schlumberger Information Solutions and Delores Hinkle of Marathon Oil. Mueller described his involvement with SPE and encouraged young petroleum professionals to be active in the section and reap the rewards of volunteering. Hinkle delivered an informative presentation titled “Top Ten Tips for Career Success.” A panel of young professionals involved with the ELP, who represent a diverse background in the petroleum industry, answered questions about the industry and SPE involvement. Panelists included Brady Rodgers of Devon Energy, Kelda McFee of Shell Oil, Eric Shearer of Halliburton Sperry-Sun, Suzanne Adams of Weatherford, Jonathan MacConnell of Schlumberger Information Solutions, and Kerry Letourneau of Chesapeake Energy.
Here are comments from an attendee and a volunteer Roughneck Camp alumnus:
“Very energizing meeting with lots of enthusiasm from participants. Good speakers, good format—especially the icebreakers. I enjoyed the panel discussion. I was impressed with the questions the panel had to answer regarding ‘why did you go to work for a major company vs. a service company,’ etc.”
—Patty Davis, PetroSkills/OGCI
“The camp I attended last year was useful, as I was introduced to a variety of groups and events the local SPE chapter offers. I met a lot of people who are leaders in SPE and it pro- vided a good balance of networking, outlined the volunteer opportunities in the section, and numerous seminars the section offers.”
—Jaime Villatoro, Weatherford, Roughneck Camp alumnus 2003
This event promotes camaraderie among young engineers in the industry, and as a past volunteer for the Roughneck Camp and an ELP Board alumnus, I encourage all young engineers to be involved with the SPE sections. Any time spent volunteering with SPE pays for itself 10-fold by developing an individual’s soft skills and technical expertise. Contacts and functional relationships forged in this environment last a lifetime and continue to pay dividends years after the initial investment of time.
Regina Eco holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the U. of Texas at Austin and is a certified engineer-in-training. She is the Continuing Education Chair for the SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS) and was ATCE Registration Committee Chair. She has served as the Development Chair for the GCS Emerging Leaders Program and as Continuing Education Treasurer. She received the 2004 SPE GCS Section Service Award.