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Worley New Zealand

  • 50,000 - 100,000 employees

Max McDonald

It’s hard to pick just one aspect of my job that is the ‘coolest’ as the environment is so varied, however, the one consistent factor is the people.

What's your job about?

As a process engineer at Worley, we are generally involved in project work related to the energy sector. As Worley is a large engineering consultancy the sizes of the team can range from 5 to 100+. Project work involves working in accordance with a team of personnel who have a range of expertise, so the learning potential for a graduate is limitless. I am currently working in the Project Engineering Delivery Team (PEDT), this team performs project work for Worley’s largest client. The thing I enjoy most about this role is the variety of work I have been exposed to. In my first year, I have worked on large scale drilling campaigns to minor upgrades to process equipment. Every job has unique challenges so in a nutshell, more verity equals more learning. 

A typical day for myself could consist of any of the following tasks:

  •  P&ID, Operating Manual, Cause and Effect or Datasheet updates
  • Process calculations
  • Simulation development
  • Design Reviews
  • HAZOPs

In early 2020 I will be seconded onto the site to work on the upcoming shutdown which is scheduled for March 2020. This secondment will provide me with valuable site experience and give me the opportunity to see projects I have worked on in the design stage be followed through to construction. 

What's your background?

I grew up in a small town on the west coast of the South Island called Westport, where I attended both primary and secondary school. I loved the community spirit of Westport and found the unique opportunities and easy-going lifestyle gave me a great foundation to begin my journey of becoming an engineer. In 2015 I made the big move to Christchurch to undertake a degree in chemical and process engineering. I think it’s fair to say I had the time of my life throughout my four years at university, however before I knew it I had my graduation cap on and was ready to start my next chapter, in the “real world”. Obtaining a job in the energy sector had been a goal of mine since I was 16, as this was when I realized becoming a nuclear physicist wasn’t a realistic option if I was going to live in New Zealand. So after successfully applying for a Job at Worley a new chapter in my life was about to commence. In a foreign country (The North Island) my working life began, I started at Worley in February 2019 and have been working here for a year now. throughout my first year, 3 things have stood out to me

1.    Working and learning off an awesome group of people

2.    Being exposed to large scale projects

3.    Having the opportunity to live in such a cool part of the county

So, if any of you are thinking of beginning your journey with Worley I would highly recommend it.   

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, my team is made up of people who have vastly different work experiences and backgrounds, which is critical in a business-like Worley as we undertake a huge verity of projects. However, to be a process engineer here it is essential to have a chemical engineering degree. In my day to day work, I constantly use skills obtained throughout my degree, due to the technical aspects related to many of the projects we are given. Nevertheless, like every job, there is a lot of on the job learning which is awesome because it means you never stop developing your trade.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

It’s hard to pick just one aspect of my job that is the ‘coolest’ as the environment is so varied, however, the one consistent factor is the people. The people at Worley both in the graduate programme and the wider business naturally create an atmosphere that is relaxed yet productive. There is a strong culture of cooperation and support that enables us to work and grow without ever getting bored. In essence, the coolest thing about Worley is the work is varied, the opportunities are endless, and the people ensure the experience is like no other.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Enjoy your time at University, it’s an awesome/unique part of your life
  • Be open to try different activates and do things which put you outside your comfort zone because that’s when you’ll learn the most about yourself.
  • Try and get summer jobs which give you a snapshot of numerous engineering sectors. This will allow you to network with a number of employers and hopefully discover which industry best suits you!