Veteran’s transition to a Career in Oil and Gas
Nikola (Nik) Milutinovic moved to Canada from the former Yugoslavia in the mid-90’s. Shortly after finishing secondary school, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. Upon returning to civilian life, he has pursued a career in oil and gas operations.
What got you interested in working for the oil and gas industry?
I was looking for a civilian role when I got back to Canada and started working for a local oil field service company in Fort St. John in 2014. I was exposed to oilfield operators and decided to explore a career in this area. I just completed my 4th Class Power Engineering, finished a work term with Shell to gain on the job experience and will be starting my second work term with Shell at their Saturn Gas Plant in May.
Tell me about your time with Shell?
I rotated through different crews, where I got to work with folks with different backgrounds dealing with a wide range of issues every day. Hearing firsthand how others would respond was so valuable to tie in what I learned in the classroom to the day-to-day activities. It helped me to determine that I was making the right career choice.
What was your favourite Experience?
I participated in a real-time issue with a piece of equipment. Various teams and experts were brought in to identify the problem and potential solutions and I was able to participate through the entire process – such a great experience.
What did you find most surprising?
Coming out of the Armed Forces, it can be really hard to find a sense of purpose and find a civilian career. Surprisingly, Shell has a similar culture as in the military. I was surrounded by the best people with the same mentality of “get the job done”. Everything was done in a structured, methodical process and it was easy to know what was expected of me.
What motivated you to come back to shell for a second practicum?
Shell supports their employees through on-the-job experiences and formal learning via online courses to help build their knowledge. This year I hope to build on my experiences from last year and gain more understanding of how to respond to process upsets.