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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 186  
Subject: Any pros around here? Date: 1/6/2003 11:08 AM
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Well the IT company I work for are closing their Dallas office at the end of this month, so I've been looking for further work. There are various options available so it isn't a complete disaster. I have two possible sources of short-term part-time contract work, I have an emergency fund, I have the option of a 'free' MBA (all the work, but no fee except taxes), etc.

I do feel like a bit of a change, so the MBA has its attractions.
However, a local civil engineering firm is advertising for a geologist.
If it is anything like the UK, such a post probably pays quite a bit less than IT. I'm tempted to apply. My resume would need a bit of rejigging - emphasise my geo experience (both degrees, bona fide FGS, my IT coding has been mainly for geophysical applications, running the geology conference on cix.co.uk, etc) rather than the current IT bias.

So what is it like? I feel like I would be inexperienced having not studied any geology seriously since 1995.


RB
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Author: waterwiz Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/6/2003 9:08 PM
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Hey, go for it. You have nothing to lose by throwing in your resume.

I work for the government, not a consultant. And I'm a hydrologist (with a degree in geology) but I have known a few consulting geologists and I've applied to a few private firms.

Pay--everything pays less than IT. Why fiddling with a computer pays so well, I don't know (not that I'm bitter or anything... :-))

Generally, one important thing is writing skills. You'll probably be writing reports, proposals, etc. (Well, this *should* be important. In my previous job I reviewed reports and plans from engineers and landscape architects. I never saw a single one without errors. Some of those I'd have been embarrassed to have my name on. A couple were so bad I simply sent them back--I just couldn't make sense of them!)

Consultants also want more business, so they're looking for marketers. Do you have contacts from your previous work? Or some ideas to bring in more business?

They don't want to have to teach or train you. Don't bother telling them you're a fast learner. They don't want a fast learner--they want someone who's already learned, who can hit the ground running (which no one can do--this is a totally unrealistic expectation [not that I'm bitter about this, either]--so just fake it).

And emphasize anything unique you could bring to the position. Assume everyone has the same qualifications you do, and find something that pushes you over the edge. Figure out how your previous IT experience can benefit this position and company.

Finally, it's been my experience that geo/hydro/CE employers like the old-fashioned, chronological resume best. I'd recommend you stick with that (which isn't bad, since it puts your geo degrees--what you want to emphasize--first). You can still tweak your experience to emphasize the geological angle, and of course go into more detail in your cover letter.

Good luck!

(disclaimer: these are just suggestions, not official advice :-))

Ellen

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Author: OilyFool Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/7/2003 4:19 AM
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red,

Greetings from Saudi Arabia! It's been awhile since I "spoke" to you.

Don't worry about not having seen any geology since 1995; the rocks haven't changed. Much ;-).

Very few geologists I know have actually looked at rocks recently, anyway (the last two groups with which I've been involved, including my current gig, are rare exceptions). Most are playing with mapping packages, interpreting 3-D seismic, doing image log analysis, petrphysics, building digital cross sections, or in my case, a little of all of these, plus describing core! But Aramco's special that way...

I'd think you could parlay your IT experience into something eminently useful at any number of major or minor oil companies (including Aramco, BTW. Rejig your resume, and e-mail it to www.jobsataramco.com , unless you have no desire to visit - or revisit? - the Middle East.). Data management is a major headache at most companies, so maybe you could bill yourself as "Geophysical Data Management Guru" or "Geophysical IT Consultant."

The need for consultants out there is great, as long as you can pitch your special skills to solve their problems (unless you're one of those truly gifted individuals that can identify a serious problem that a particular compnay doesn't even know it has, and then can offer an expensive (and more importantly, expenses-paid) solution!

Oily
oilyfool@yahoo.com
ronald.sprague@aramco.com

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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 166 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/7/2003 5:03 PM
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Hey, go for it. You have nothing to lose by throwing in your resume.


That's what I was thinking :-)


I work for the government, not a consultant. And I'm a hydrologist (with a degree in geology) but I have known a few consulting geologists and I've applied to a few private firms.


USGS? Where?


Pay--everything pays less than IT. Why fiddling with a computer pays so well, I don't know (not that I'm bitter or anything... :-))


I don't know there was a Classified Ad in the jobs section in the newspaper from someone claiming to earn $5000/week, and they wanted 5 people to do the same. Doubt that was the kind of IT I do :-) lol

I think IT is changing. Paying good money for good people is one thing, but it is becoming a commodity and computers *should* be easier. As soon as they become easier, loads of "engineer" positions are replaced with loads of "skivvy" positions. (think of any other new technology - trains, cars, etc. the early workers were more skilled relative to everyone else, then the jobs became easier with less training requirements)


Generally, one important thing is writing skills. You'll probably be writing reports, proposals, etc. (Well, this *should* be important. In my previous job I reviewed reports and plans from engineers and landscape architects. I never saw a single one without errors. Some of those I'd have been embarrassed to have my name on. A couple were so bad I simply sent them back--I just couldn't make sense of them!)


My written English isn't what it used to be, but is a lot better than what I often see. Of course I'm surrounded by a load of Colonials who don't know how to spell "colour", pronounce "tomato", and think "the house is lighted" is good English. :-)


Consultants also want more business, so they're looking for marketers. Do you have contacts from your previous work? Or some ideas to bring in more business?


Not really. The previous company I worked was a seismic exploration outfit. I worked on the inhouse software (and tended to specialise in the more geophysical aspects - I found it more interesting, and it was an efficent use of expertise by my bosses). The company I currently work for are more software library orientated. So they're more likely to sell to this company that is advertising (a civil engineering outfit) than the other way around!



They don't want to have to teach or train you. Don't bother telling them you're a fast learner. They don't want a fast learner--they want someone who's already learned, who can hit the ground running (which no one can do--this is a totally unrealistic expectation [not that I'm bitter about this, either]--so just fake it).


Thanks. I guess one problem would be if I was called to interview and they started dropping buzzwords - even in geophysics. Sure, I know a lot of techniques, but not necessarily the latest sensor product name / whatever.


And emphasize anything unique you could bring to the position. Assume everyone has the same qualifications you do, and find something that pushes you over the edge. Figure out how your previous IT experience can benefit this position and company.


Err, developing new tools unique to our requirements...


Finally, it's been my experience that geo/hydro/CE employers like the old-fashioned, chronological resume best. I'd recommend you stick with that (which isn't bad, since it puts your geo degrees--what you want to emphasize--first). You can still tweak your experience to emphasize the geological angle, and of course go into more detail in your cover letter.


So more like what I'd call a CV? I can do that!

Thanks,

RB


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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 167 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/7/2003 5:37 PM
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Greetings from Saudi Arabia! It's been awhile since I "spoke" to you.


Yup! I'm now in Dallas and married!


Don't worry about not having seen any geology since 1995; the rocks haven't changed. Much ;-).



Very few geologists I know have actually looked at rocks recently, anyway (the last two groups with which I've been involved, including my current gig, are rare exceptions). Most are playing with mapping packages, interpreting 3-D seismic, doing image log analysis, petrphysics, building digital cross sections, or in my case, a little of all of these, plus describing core! But Aramco's special that way...


oily stuff of course! This company is civil engineering.
You might be using some of out software. The company that is laying me off (INT,Inc) sell their libraries and do some app development type stuff for Aramco.


I'd think you could parlay your IT experience into something eminently useful at any number of major or minor oil companies (including Aramco, BTW. Rejig your resume, and e-mail it to www.jobsataramco.com , unless you have no desire to visit - or revisit? - the Middle East.). Data management is a major headache at most companies, so maybe you could bill yourself as "Geophysical Data Management Guru" or "Geophysical IT Consultant."


At the moment I'm tied to Dallas. MrsRB (biomarcy on the Fool) goes up for tenure this summer at Univ.Dallas, so in theory I'd be more mobile after that though the only real options are probably Dallas and the UK.
If I could put up with living next to Gatwick airport & expensive housing prices of SE England, I could always go back to Veritas (who originally shipped me out to Houston!).

I guess I've shied away from oil companies. The hire&fire mentality (oops, look where I am now, d'oh!), and I remember Shell on the university career milk-round. A bit too arrogant for my tastes, although maybe they've changed.

Anyway, how is the oil industry really for jobs? I heard rumours that Veritas had laid people off recently. Exploration is at a low at the moment with an over-supply of seismic services. Things didn't look good in the last few PESGB newsletters that I've received. Then again, perhaps it is just the UKCS and US gulf that is in decline - plenty of jobs if you're prepared to go to Nigeria, Columbia, or the Middle East?


The need for consultants out there is great, as long as you can pitch your special skills to solve their problems (unless you're one of those truly gifted individuals that can identify a serious problem that a particular compnay doesn't even know it has, and then can offer an expensive (and more importantly, expenses-paid) solution!


Not sure about the latter - maybe I can twist my software skills into something useful.

Cheers,

RB


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Author: waterwiz Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 168 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/7/2003 8:06 PM
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USGS? Where?

A large municipality in the SW US that has better water supplies than the media thinks :-)

We're still doing the voluntary conservation thing, though, just because it looks good. I am getting tired of people commenting about the green golf courses, though. They're watered with reclaimed water--that's a steady supply so long as we keep flushing our toilets and washing!

Ellen

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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/8/2003 12:19 PM
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USGS? Where?

A large municipality in the SW US that has better water supplies than the media thinks :-)


Ah okay. I still think of Government == Federal :-)
I was asking because I did my MSc project with the USGS guys out at Menlo Park, California.


We're still doing the voluntary conservation thing, though, just because it looks good. I am getting tired of people commenting about the green golf courses, though. They're watered with reclaimed water--that's a steady supply so long as we keep flushing our toilets and washing!

Ellen


There's a lot of talk here in the DFW area of building *more* resevoirs.
There's quite a lot of building going on in suburbia though.
In 20 years time a couple of towns might disappear beneath the waves.
(on the plus side that would be more local State Parks, although the resevoir parks tend to be for boating with very little hiking)

Not much has been said about reclaiming water, so I don't know how much is (or isn't). I know a lot of irrigated water is wasted. Water meters would quickly ensure shop/house owners would quickly fix the broken sprinklers! :-)

Or the people who water during the midday sun. If watering plants during midday back in the UK can scorch plants, I'd hate to think what it does in Texas!


RB





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Author: waterwiz Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 170 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/8/2003 9:04 PM
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Not much has been said about reclaiming water, so I don't know how much is (or isn't). I know a lot of irrigated water is wasted. Water meters would quickly ensure shop/house owners would quickly fix the broken sprinklers! :-)

You're not metered?! Holy cow! Metering is the *best* method for conserving water...

I don't think Texas uses much reclaimed water. Maybe in the desert regions, but it's mostly Arizona, California, and Florida. I think I read recently that something like 80% of all reclaimed water use in the country is in these three states. Actually, in Arizona the largest user of reclaimed water isn't the golf courses, but the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station--they use it for their cooling water.

Ellen



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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 172 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/8/2003 9:51 PM
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You're not metered?! Holy cow! Metering is the *best* method for conserving water...


But too obvious!


RB

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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/9/2003 11:29 AM
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A good thing I've tried to track down the websites for email addresses given in adverts. What I thought was one advert was actually two. So the geology/etc positions are actually for an Environmental Consultancy.

What made me think it was a Civil Engineering firm was the second advert afterwards - simple two liner which says "See our website" - their website has no openings listed! It is a well known local company, unlike the other one which I hadn't heard of before and I assumed was a recruitment agency name.

The dividing line between the two is not very clear!


RB


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Author: redbaron7 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 178 of 186
Subject: Re: Any pros around here? Date: 1/27/2003 10:16 AM
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You're not metered?! Holy cow! Metering is the *best* method for conserving water...


Turns out we might well be - or definitely some of the cities in the DFW area are. Shows how much attention I pay. I was going by MrsRB's description of the water bill which sounded like the UK's "Water Rates" (some parts of the UK have since switched to water meters).


You wouldn't think it going by the bad sprinklers though. Maybe DFW needs to enforce its fines and perhaps make them a bit bigger.


RB


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