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Helen C., Exploration Geologist



Can you briefly describe the business areas you work in and your primary tasks

I’m an Exploration Geologist, which means I search for new or prospective areas with hydrocarbon accumulations. As a geologist, I am responsible for figuring out if the rocks in these areas can generate hydrocarbons. If they do, I’m responsible for figuring out where the hydrocarbons migrate and get reserved.  

I also have to do a lot of creative thinking and come up with new ideas, which I really like. But I also analyze and integrate a lot of different data to create information-rich maps.  

What are the most exciting and challenging tasks in your job? 

The most exciting part of my job, by far, is when we actually get to drill a well. It’s because we might have had years of work leading up to potentially finding something, and then suddenly, you have the opportunity to test your ideas.  

As for challenging tasks, geologists are a small piece of the operational chain of command. This means it’s important we effectively explain our ideas and express their value to the project and to other people like engineers, management and economists. Doing so can be challenging, but also super fun at the end of the day. 

How are you using your education in your current position? 

I concentrated my bachelor’s degree in geology and physical geography, and then completed a Master of Science in Petroleum Geoscience. So, I use the knowledge I gained in my degrees every day. Indeed, I couldn’t do my job without them. In fact, I often go back to the fundamentals I learned in university when I start a new project. 

What are the three most important things to you in your job at Total? 

The number one most important thing to me at my job is my team—I love working with my team! They are fantastic. We have a big mix of cultures, personalities, and a big variety of specialties. We are all high-performing individuals who also enjoy having fun. I really enjoy that combination.  

The second most important thing is all the technical development opportunities. So, even though I’ve completed my university education, I never stop learning. Every day I come into the office I gain new knowledge. It’s really nice. 

The third thing is that my team and I have the freedom to come up with new ideas. It’s very welcomed and encouraged in Total to be innovative, which is very important to me. 

Why is Total an attractive company for you to work for?  

Total is an attractive company to work for because it’s so big. That size means working here comes with a lot of opportunities. Total has a lot of projects across different areas which allows opportunities to do good geology work. Total also provides unique opportunities for international mobility. So, if you want to move around the world, Total is perfect for that. 

Another great quality about working at Total is that they encourage innovation. Total emphasizes very large research and development efforts and has a lot of technical experts. There is always someone available for us to call if we have questions that require certain expertise. It’s super cool to have that accessibility in a company.