We interviewed Odion Idebhulu, an MSc Petroleum Production Engineering alumnus at RGU and a ‘key influencer’ at Fortil UK. Here is what he had to say about how a master’s degree at RGU helped him shape his career.
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from Nigeria. I completed my undergraduate degree in a prestigious university in the northern part of the country. I began my career as a piping engineer and after several promotions through many years, I became a piping coordinator. In 2018, I resigned my job in Nigeria to join RGU.
I secured the Petroleum Technology Developmental Fund, a scholarship awarded by the Government of Nigeria to aspiring oil and gas graduates.Odion Idebhulu, Petroleum Production Engineering alumnus at RGU
Once I received the award, I told my workplace and they recommended that I do a Master’s in Petroleum Production Engineering, but my manager was not too happy about it. He did not want me to leave and I was promoted to an assistant manager role. Securing this scholarship was a big achievement in my career so I had to accept it! I handed in my resignation but my request to leave early was rejected and I was a week late starting my course. Better late than never!
Why did you choose RGU?
I will give you a good answer, because my answer is what any other student from Nigeria would tell you.
If you want to pursue a degree in oil and gas, Aberdeen in the best place. RGU is one of the best universities for the stream.Odion Idebhulu, Petroleum Production Engineering alumnus at RGU
Any questions I had were answered well by the RGU team. I even met one the recruitment team at RGU, in person, in Nigeria and had all my doubts cleared.
How was the Petroleum Production Engineering course experience?
We learnt a lot of theory and terminologies. When it comes to piping, the more terminologies you know, the better you can handle and optimise them. We also learnt softwares that bridged theory and practice. This transferrable skill as part of the course helps make students a better engineer.
Another great thing about RGU is that they expose you to plenty of coursework. This is amazing as it gives you the opportunity to do your own technical research about a topic. Each coursework assignment will challenge you.Odion Idebhulu, Petroleum Production Engineering alumnus at RGU
With the coursework, it is not enough to just answer from the journals you have been reading, you have to carry out your own research. This was something that I was never used to before. I enjoyed the course even more because I went beyond the lecture slides. I did my own research, watched YouTube videos and took some courses online.
In terms of lecturers, I would place RGU at the top. Each lecturer adds something different to the course; some are good at explaining theory, some are best at explaining calculations and others are great at explaining how to modulate your coursework.
Tell us about your industry visits
RGU gave me the opportunity to collaborate with industry in different ways. We had several industry professionals come to our class to do workshops, seminars, and talks.Odion Idebhulu, Petroleum Production Engineering alumnus at RGU
We were able to secure memberships with several Oil and Gas institutes, societies and professional bodies through RGU. Some of these include the Energy Institute, Society of Petroleum Engineers, and Society of Subsea Engineers. I tried my best to go to at least one meeting a month. I went for three visits at the Energy Institutes and attended four conferences.
What advice would you give to students looking to study Petroleum Production Engineering at RGU?
If you are looking to take this course, you should be really passionate about oil and gas. What better place than Aberdeen to study this field?
I think aspiring petroleum production engineers should choose RGU because the course has a big practical aspect to it. It was not just the teaching inside class; we got to go to these companies and watch them do what we learn.Odion Idebhulu, Petroleum Production Engineering alumnus at RGU
Students should make full use all the industry visits and the conferences to learn what is going on in the industry. I would advise them to work persistently to get the necessary skills through course, no matter how difficult it is.