The contribution will provide $200,000 annually for travel grants to graduate students who are pursuing a master’s degree or Ph.D. in the geosciences. The grants enable students to attend a two-and-a half day course that helps them prepare for a career in the oil and gas industry. The program also focuses on the increasing role of women in the global geoscience community. More recently, the program has also begun to consider highly qualified undergraduate students for participation.
ExxonMobil Exploration Company’s involvement with the Student Education Program began in 2008 and the support enables up to four educational events to take place each year at different locations around the world. To date, the Student Education Program has offered 17 courses globally, reaching nearly 500 students from 50 countries.
“The oil and gas industry can provide tremendous opportunities for young geophysicists who want to work on challenging projects with the most-advanced tools in the geoscience field,” says ExxonMobil Exploration Company Vice President Rick Weber. “The Student Education Program provides intensive, real-world experience for the world’s top geophysical students to see how exciting and rewarding a career in oil and gas can be.”
ExxonMobil Exploration Company geoscientist Antonio Cameron participated in the Houston Student Education Program. He says the experience played a big role in his decision to join ExxonMobil. “I have always had a passion for studying and learning about geoscience, but as a student, you are not always certain how your interests align with the career opportunities that are out there,” Cameron said. “The program demonstrated the connection between what I loved to do and what I could make a career out of doing at ExxonMobil. As a minority pursuing this field, the Student Education Program created a pathway for me to realize my dream.”
ExxonMobil develops all course content and provides volunteer employee instructors and student materials for each Student Education Program event. Class sizes typically range between 25 and 30 students. More information about the Student Education Program is available on the Society of Exploration Geophysicists website.
ExxonMobil also supports a variety of other programs through universities and professional societies that promote geoscience education and create career pathways for the next generation of geoscientists.