I am a student of the niche Infrastructure Development and Management MBA program at Pune’s SCMHRD. The program is a techno-commercial blend of core management domains and intrinsic infrastructure conceptualization and management knowledge. Before joining the program, I worked in Infrastructure Consulting at Jacobs Engineering, which at that time was ranked the best Design firm globally by Engineering News-Record. I was lucky enough to work on several iconic projects such as the Jamnagar J3 refinery for nearly 4 years with Jacobs as an engineer involved in greenfield and brownfield EPC projects. In 2019 Jacobs sold the ECR division to Worley in a $3.3 billion deal and I ended up working at Worley for 3 months before pursuing my MBA and coincidentally working out there again as a summer intern in 2020.
Knowing Worley’s stature as the largest player in energy projects globally, I expected the interview to involve EPC/EPCm Project Management as a major focus area and brushed up on the latest news on projects being carried out in India, including the publicly acknowledged projects at Worley. I also read on Worley’s thrust into digital transformation and energy transformation. I further ensured that I was up to date with the radically new programs being implemented at EPC companies all over the world as precursors to digital transformation. I rounded this off with a revision of the work done and results achieved at Jacobs and Worley during my time of service and glanced through PMBOK methodology and Project Management practices.
The actual internship project fortuitously turned out to be an exciting application of Digital Transformation in a complex infrastructure asset. The interviews were carried out by Worley India’s domain experts in Digital Transformation and Integrated Solutions. The interviewers had diverse expertise in EPC projects spanning across different infrastructure sectors. The interview involved testing my application of EPC knowledge and applying the same to a case study where I had to come up with a strategy to implement Digital Transformation in Project Management and Execution system of a company to bring out the desired results. After presenting my solution I had to defend and modify it as the panelist invoked real-life scenarios that were built around the case, at the end of which the solution was accepted and feedback was provided. After this, the interview revolved around my past work experience in EPC project management in Energy, Chemical and Resource (ECR) projects with the panel performing a deep dive into the technical aspects.
I was ecstatic to receive an opportunity to work on skunkworks program development as the global leader in energy projects. I was also excited that the project spanned all 3 verticals (Energy, Chemicals & Resources) in which Worley is involved. The Covid-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown threw an initial spanner in the works but with Worley moving the internship to the virtual domain the internship continued seamlessly. The actual project involved creating a roadmap for digital transformation implementation for a large mining-refining complex. The research involved diving into relatively less explored topics that were still novel in the field of project and asset management.
The palpable excitement of working on something ground-breaking and new that had not been tried before was present in everyone that I interacted with for the interview and internship. It was infectious and soon I felt the same way. Receiving mentoring from subject matter experts on such novel and futuristic technologies and working on implementing futuristic transformational programs are the unique experiences that I would want to take away from this internship project.
The experience has opened me up to the dynamic and little-explored field of digital transformation in infrastructure and I look forward to taking part in the revolutionary new projects taking shape in this field based on my learnings and experience at Worley and the MBA IDM program at SCMHRD.
First-Year Program Learnings that aided in the internship.
The MBA IDM program is a techno-commercial program having energy and resources as a specialization in the program. Also project execution and management is a major focus area applied across all specializations. I had opted for a mix of project management and project finance specializations across the domains of energy, urban infrastructure and transportation. That aided me in cracking the interview for an ECR project company. I had also worked on a live project for India Smart Grid Forum that included Digital Ledger Technology and Blockchain which provided me with ample exposure to new technology development and large scale implementation, including the regulatory aspects.
Tips for Juniors.
To obtain internships in Project Management Companies, Energy companies or Digital Transformation enterprises ensure you have a strong grasp on Project Management including PMBOK and PMI methodologies, an understanding of energy generation-transmission-distribution across all sources, an understanding of non-conventional energy projects and an exposure to digital technologies such as smart contracting, Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain), MES and Project Dashboards.