First oil and gas fair for junior high

Mallory
Mallory Clarkson
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Students listen in on job prospects

"Stay in school, get an education and get a further education."

This was the message I.J. Sampson Junior High School students heard Tuesday morning from Gary Field, an implementation technologist with Production Services Network (PSN).

Field was one of seven professionals from PSN who talked about career diversity in the oil and gas industry to the attentive students.

Shannon Head, a computer-assisted design and drafting operator from Production Services Network, a global oil and gas service provider with its Canadian headquarters in St. John's, launched its school oil and gas career education program at I.J. Sampson J

"Stay in school, get an education and get a further education."

This was the message I.J. Sampson Junior High School students heard Tuesday morning from Gary Field, an implementation technologist with Production Services Network (PSN).

Field was one of seven professionals from PSN who talked about career diversity in the oil and gas industry to the attentive students.

Although these presentations are generally saved for high school, college and university level students, assistant principal Laurie Andrews said it makes the course selection for Grade 10 easier.

"What we're finding is that by the time they get to grades 10 and 11, they don't have the courses selected they need to do (a specific) route," she said.

She also said by having these presentations, students are able to pick their courses based on their future career aspirations.

PSN's career education program was launched last year at high schools and Memorial University, but this is the first time it's being held at a junior high school.

Tim O'Leary, PSN's East Coast operations vice-president, said it's not about recruiting the students, but showing them different options.

"It's about the kids," he said.

"It's about the value of education and all we're hoping to do here is to open up an industry - the oil and gas industry - but also explain to the kids all the opportunities out there in all industries," he said.

Nathan Shears is a student who has been thinking of getting into the oil and gas sector because his uncle works in the industry.

"I look up to my uncle as a role model because he travels all over the world with his job. So I'd like to try it out because it looks really interesting," he said.

Another student, Brandon Bursey, said he found the presentation interesting because it showed him the different paths he could take.

"I've always wanted to be a mechanical engineer," he said.

"It gave me background information."

PSN also wanted to point out to students that job opportunities weren't just for men.

"(We want to show) that there are females in the industry - show that it's not just a mans world," said Shannon Head, a computer-aided design and drafting operator with PSN.

A show of hands during the question period was enough proof the students were interested.

Questions such as, "How long will it take for me to get a job?" "Are they all high-paying jobs?" "Is it all drilling oil?" and "Do we get time off if it's our birthday?" peppered the presenters.

The school will hold a handful of career presentations for students throughout the week.

mallory.clarkson@gmail.com

Organizations: Production Services Network, I.J. Sampson Junior High School

Geographic location: East Coast

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