Heather Legan is a process engineering Intern, a two-time BP Scholar and a double major in chemical engineering and economics who is turning her passions into exciting, career-building experiences
A student at the University of Oklahoma, Heather enjoyed two summer internships at BP. She first became interested in a BP internship during BP’s STEP Program, a two-day leadership and networking program for rising first-year and sophomore students. But her interest in science began way before her first interaction with BP.
When Heather and her siblings were children, they would conduct simple experiments in the backyard with their father’s guidance. The experiments became more advanced as Heather got older, from testing if a paperclip would float in soapy water to trying more complex techniques in the lab. As her experience grew, so did her love for science, bolstered by her hands-on training and the real-life example of her eighth-grade science teacher, a former engineer.
As a BP intern, Heather used her knowledge and experience in science and math to support BP’s Gulf of Mexico production facilities. “The work I’ve done has real impact in terms of lowering operating risk and increasing the safety of our assets,” says Heather. She also had the opportunity to take two offshore trips on a subsea support vessel and to the Thunder Horse production and drilling platform, BP’s largest facility in the Gulf of Mexico. Of the Thunder Horse experience, she says, “[it] was pretty neat because I was able to find equipment that I had been supporting from the office and find out what it looked like in the field. I also got to spend my 21st birthday on the platform, which is something that none of my friends can say they’ve done!”
The fact that leadership makes themselves so accessible is one of the reasons that I love coming back to BP and it’s definitely one of the reasons they stand out to me as an employer.Heather Legan
It’s not just the projects that Heather found exciting about interning with BP – the helpfulness of BP employees also stood out. Accessibility is important to Heather and she saw this in BP from the start. “[During the STEP Program] one of the things that really stood out to me was the fact that Leigh-Ann Russell, VP of Global Wells Performance at the time, took an hour out of her day to come and speak with us,” Heather says. As an intern, she also met with vice presidents, heard senior leaders speak and attended a Houston Astros game with Richard Morrison, Regional President Gulf of Mexico at BP America. “The fact that leadership makes themselves so accessible is one of the reasons that I love coming back to BP and it’s definitely one of the reasons they stand out to me as an employer,” she says.
For students looking at internship opportunities, Heather recommends getting involved at school and building a network of professors and upperclassman advisors early in your university experience. She also recommends attending a career fair in your freshman year. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the perfect suit or if your resume doesn’t have internships listed …these experiences will help you learn what industries you might be interested in working in, and what jobs you might be interested in doing.”