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News Release Student Interns > Bianca Bailey
Bianca Bailey
Every October is the Fall career fair at Howard University. I always make sure I am prepared with a resume, nice crisp suit with stockings, and last but not least my professionalism. While at the career fair, I came across a company called ConocoPhillips, an oil, gas and energy company. As I began to ask questions about the company values and how chemical engineers play a role in the oil and energy industry, I became more intrigued, not to mention it was a paid internship.

After months of communicating with ConocoPhillips HR people through over the phone interviews, paperwork and a drug test, I was on my way to Houston, TX. I started June 1 as an intern at the headquarters of ConocoPhillips in the Lubricants Department. On the first day of the internship I was issued a laptop and it was time to get to work.

My assigned projects included: database cleanup for lubricant product image files, optimization of export loading process at the Los Angeles and Savannah locations and applying the Lean Six Sigma principles.
To better understand my optimization project, the company flew me out to Los Angeles for a week to visit the lubricant plant. Another project included the purification of Hexane-S with an economic evaluation located at Sweeny Oil Refinery. In the Lubricants Department, they oversee everything from the research and development of the products up until the finished product is placed on a shelf for the customer to buy. Not only did I learn how chemical engineering fits within the company, but I also learned the importance of business strategy. My final project consisted of creating an exit strategy for products that were on the decline of the product cycle. This was strictly a marketing/business project. Though this project had nothing to do with chemicals and molecules, I was still able to apply my analytical skills to develop this exit strategy for the company.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my internship. Of course, there were certain challenges that included adapting to working in the industry versus academia, asking the right questions and being more assertive about my abilities and environment. I would encourage anyone who is interested in a safe, challenging, business and technological environment to intern with ConocoPhillips. If and when you do, make sure you bring your confidence, professionalism, questions and a lot of Bison pride to the table!

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