What it does: Provides tech to the resources industry
Staff stats: 100,000 globally
The good bits: International opportunities
The not so good bits: Working in remote locations
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Sciences
The Schlumberger story
In 1926 brothers Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger launched the Société de prospection électrique [Electrical Prospecting Company]. The siblings had experience conducting geophysical surveys and their business sold electrical-measuring mapping services. It didn’t take long for the business to expand both its geographical footprint and the range of services it offered to resource companies. In 1962 the business, now known as Schlumberger Ltd, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
As a result of both organic growth and acquisitions, Schlumberger has continued to grow strongly. These days it is a Fortune Global 500 company. One that describes itself as “the world's leading provider of technology for reservoir characterisation, drilling, production and processing to the oil and gas industry”. The company is divided into four groups: Reservoir Characterisation; Drilling; Production and Cameron (i.e. flow and pressure-control technologies).
Each group consists of several service and product lines, which are referred to in the company lingo as ‘Technologies’. The company invests around US$800 million a year in R&D and operates 125 research and engineering facilities around the world.
Schlumberger has operations in 85 countries, employs staff from over 140 nations and has principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague. In 2017, it had revenue of US$30 billion (A$38 billion).
With staff from almost every country on earth and headquarters spread across Europe, the UK and the US, Schlumberger is “one of the most culturally diverse companies in the world”.
Schlumberger was one of the first truly global companies and it encourages “fair employment practices worldwide and offers equal opportunities to all our employees”. One of the company’s core principles is, “Meritocracy drives our actions, decisions and employee advancement.”
Schlumberger’s workforce skews male but the company has been committed to gender diversity since 1994. It aims to “continually increase the percentage of women we recruit worldwide, ensure proper career development for high-performing women, and increase our organisational flexibility to accommodate a wider range of personal situations”.
In recent decades the company has been successful in “attracting and developing non-western nationalities”. Staff from developing nations are “now integrated into all levels of the workforce, including senior management”.
The Schlumberger Foundation has been “establishing scholarships and fellowships for scientific studies” since 1954. It has endowed Chairs at universities such as MIT and Cambridge, helped create geo-scientific research and training programs in African nations, partnered with United World Colleges to provide scholarships to disadvantaged students with an interest in science and provided funding to women from emerging economies undertaking postgraduate studies in the STEM field.
The company also engages in a range of community outreach initiatives sponsoring, for example, coding and robotics clubs for high-school students around the world.
Schlumberger has a “long-standing culture of global social and environmental stewardship”. Throughout its history, the company has developed technologies that allow clients, such as oil and gas companies, to “increase production and recovery from non-renewable resources – efficiently and with lower environmental impact”.
The recruitment process
If you’re interested in working at Schlumberger you may wish to do an internship there while studying. It’s not clear if these are available in Australia but you can find out more interning opportunities here.
Rather than having a conventional grad program with a set starting and finishing date, the company recruits constantly. It expects those who are interested in a grad role to keep an eye on the careers page on the company website and apply when a suitable position is advertised.
Applicants are expected to have a degree that has prepared them to work in one of the following domains:
Schlumberger seeks to hire staff who are adaptable, creative, energetic, enterprising, intelligent, reliable, trustworthy and self-motivated. You should also be a good listener and team player. The recruitment process may vary. It will probably involve interviews, an all-day visit to an assessment centre (expect to take part in individual and group exercises and give a presentation) and a range of technical, numerical and abstract reasoning tests. Schlumberger’s demanding recruitment process is designed to assess the following:
While experiences differ, grads who are offered a role take part in, as the company’s CEO puts it, “structured training programs [that] allow young professionals to gain expertise and experience at a pace and intensity that they cannot find anywhere else”.
To attract and retain top talent Schlumberger offers what it describes as “highly competitive packages”. The company doesn’t provide further details but it seems few staff are dissatisfied with their compensation. You can expect a starting salary in the neighbourhood of $70,000. If you make it to CEO, you can expect a package worth over $20 million.
The company also offers the standard corporate benefits such as subsidised health insurance and relocation allowances.
Schlumberger aims to recruit the cream of the crop then get the most out of them by providing ongoing, high-quality training. The company maintains a global network of learning centres where staff can spend up to three months at a time “acquiring specific technical competencies”. All staff are expected to prepare an annual training and development plan. One that keeps their skills up to date and allows them to develop their talents to their full potential.
The company promises grads they will get “exciting challenges, exposure to different environments and countries, early responsibilities and ample opportunities for development and growth”. The company has a “borderless careers policy”. This means it will “support your career progression in whichever [geographical] direction your talents and ambition take you
The vibe of the place
The workplace culture at Schlumberger will vary depending on your role and location. As a general rule, you should be prepared to put in long hours and spend periods, sometimes long periods, working away from family and friends. On the plus side, you’ll be doing engaging work, have plenty of support to reach your career goals, be paid well and have the opportunity to spend time in a range of countries.
"We’re looking for graduates to begin dynamic careers in the following domains:
We’re committed to develop our people. Trainees initially follow a fixed-step training program for approximately three years. No matter what your background, you receive the right training to develop quickly and advance. The program blends technical, safety, personal development, business and managerial courses, and on-the-job validated training.
Our Global network of Learning Centers helps us to deliver on our commitment to career-long, high-quality learning and training. Courses range from a few days to 12 weeks in duration and equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed. Our training offers a partnership to develop your skills and maximize your potential. Every year throughout your career with us you agree a training and development plan with your managers for the next 12 months.
We’re a meritocracy and progression is performance-based, so no two career paths are the same. After completing the fixed-step program career opportunities and assignments are designed to stimulate personal growth and to support business needs. Moving between functions or locations, or both, enables advancement at a pace you never thought possible."