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Webinar Summary: From University to Industry: 10 advices for a successful transition

Adeline Parent is a Doctor in Structural Geology and a Senior Basin/Petroleum Systems Analyst at Schlumberger. She is part of the Asset Consulting Services team and works for clients worldwide.

Dr. Parent advocates for a strong gender equality. She is a board member of the EAGE Women in Geosciences and Engineering and creates STEM activities for kids under 6 years old. Therefore, she will focus her webinar on women in geosciences.


On the 22nd of June, our guest Dr. Adeline Parent held a remarkable webinar “From University to Industry: 10 advices for a successful transition” as a joint event with the EAGE Student Chapter (ill. 1). Adeline Parent has a Doctorate in Structural Geology and is a Senior Basin/Petroleum Systems Analyst at Schlumberger. In addition, she is a board member of the EAGE Women in Geosciences and Engineering, where she advocates for more participation of women in geosciences and engineering and strong gender equality.

Ill. 1: The presentation held by Adeline Parent, hosted by EAGE President Alexander Magnus Jüstel and moderated by SPE Vice-President Lorena Camacho.

Dr. Parent gave some statistics about the employment rate and educational level in Europe (ill. 2). The clear message was that being employed is a tremendous challenge, therefore, knowing the differences between academy and industry, such as responsibilities, flexibility, collaboration, workplace culture, individual impact, salary, and career advancement could be the distinguishing factor that a young graduate may need to stand out. Furthermore, on becoming employed, Dr. Parent showed that young people, in general, have more possibilities than older people, nevertheless, this trend may depend on the specific country and its politics.

Ill. 2: People between ages 20 – 34, neither in employment nor in education and training, by educational attainment level, 2019.

Overall, while the academic path has its own schedule, large sense of autonomy, and continuity in research publications, among others, the industry is based on applied research, also it is more focused on teamwork and it has a clear integration between science and business where opportunities are broader.

Finally, Dr. Parent gave the ten key advices that could lead to a successful transition, especially for young graduates planning to transit from the university into the industry:

  1. Choose wisely the internship or first work experience: This could be done to gain experience, increase contacts or acquire references.

  2. Be honest about your skills: It is important to set solid foundations and adjust the learning curve to a personal level, additionally, be clear and honest about which skills are needed to improve.

  3. Negotiating your salary: According to a survey from Burtch Works in 2019, 69% of people who attempted to negotiate obtained a salary increase, and 22% of professionals received at least a benefit. Therefore, it is highly recommended to evaluate your salary. Do not be afraid to negotiate it.

  4. Never disregard your subordinate: They are the next generation of scientists and working with them in the future could be highly probable.

  5. Building and maintaining your professional network: It is very important to maintain relationships with colleagues from your previous job/internship and university. They could help you while searching for a job, give you advice about a project or a career path or give guidance for job interviews.

  6. Find multiple mentors: One must fit the career profile that you are trying and aspiring to build, others should teach new skills or are influential in terms of the job application.

  7. Do not be afraid to move or travel: Moving to a new job in a new city or country is a guaranteed way to help improve skills and experience. Since nowadays, in many organizations, international experience is necessary to get a top job.

  8. Learn another language in addition to English.

  9. Publish your work: This may give you the advantage of switching between the industry and academia at any time.

  10. Always be one step ahead of technological change: It will help you switch paths between academia and industry, once the opportunity is available. Most importantly, it could help you become business-critical. For example, consequently to the Covid-19 pandemic and the “stay-at-home” order, there was a clear change in the way of work, transforming the workplace by moving the work to the worker instead of the worker to work. Furthermore, telecommunication became the new collaboration technique.

At the end of the presentation, a Q&A session was held in which Dr. Parent talked about different topics. One question was to further elaborate on the 10th advice, and Dr. Parent gave the following example: try to appropriate programming languages like Python.

In the beginning, a small poll was conducted and showed a wide range of nationalities of the participants, such as Netherlands, Norway, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Kenya, giving an exceptional and international audience. Another poll showed that the participants were mainly from the RWTH Aachen University but not only (ill. 3).

Ill. 3: Localisation of the participants. TU Clausthal: Technical University of Clausthal. RWTH: Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule.

RWTH Aachen University SPE Student Chapter appreciates our host Dr. Adeline Parent for her excellent and very interactive presentation and wishes her all the best.

Written by Lorena Camacho, edited by Elias Khashfe, Julius Imarhiagbe.


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