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Browsing through any company's About Us section of their website will almost always lead you to a common place: the company mission statement. At this point, you learn about the business' professional beliefs, values, and purpose. In the oil and gas field, this is no different. Aside from the oil rigs and, at times, challenging conditions, the oil and gas industry has always maintained one thing: a work culture that boasts both safety and positivity for all of its workers.

The people

I think my simple answer is that they're fairly unlimited, says Rick Davidson, manager of talent acquisition at Cenovus Energy, when speaking of the landscape of career opportunity. He explains that although the oil and gas industry is made up of the obvious technical- and labour-based positions like engineering, geology, geophysics, and skilled trades, because we are a major corporation, we have opportunities in all areas whether it's communications, human resources, accounting, finance, community relations, stakeholder relations, or legal. 

For new grads excited to launch their careers in the industry, Stephanie Ryan, manager of talent acquisition strategies at Suncor, says there are many areas within the company where fresh-faced oil and gas hopefuls can get their starts. Depending on the field you specialize in, Suncor offers rotational programs for young engineers, marketers, and people in finance.

You come into an industry or organization where you can really contribute the skills that you've learned in the different disciplines that you're studying, says Ryan. There's also a good infrastructure set up to help grow and develop your career.

The culture

Vibrant, fast, and full of new and improving technology are the words Davidson uses to describe the oil and gas industry. There's a high degree of focus on the environment and on social responsibility, he says. There are a lot of things people don't realize happen within the oil and gas industry because on TV they typically see a drilling rig and some people working around the rig.

But work culture is much different from what it looks like on the surface. First thing that pops to mind is that I think Cenovus, overall, has a respect and appreciation for its people, says Davidson. That contributes to a very healthy culture when people know they can come to work and their work has their back.

Rewarding high performers are also an important aspect to the overall culture of the industry. We do offer rewarding compensation and benefits, says Ryan. We believe it's the opportunity to provide stimulating work and really make a contribution that makes us a bit of a different organization. Team members benefit from training and safety programs, in addition to mentorship and the ability to work with world-class experts.

We have leadership teams that are engaged and respect those that work for them, want to hear the ideas people have, and want to know them, adds Davidson. Although we're a big company, we like to think we have a small company feel in the way that we work together and operate.

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