Following the Fast Track Drilling Program, Nick Ward has made a rapid career progression. He advanced from engineer graduate to Operations Engineer in Stena Drilling’s operations team, in two years, and currently finds himself at the frontier of the oil industry.

Nick Ward from Glasgow, Scotland, joined Stena Drilling through the Fast Track Drilling Program, a trainee programme for young graduates that lets the aspirants get into the action ‘hands-on’ by working alongside the rig crews on board Stena Drilling vessels. "I applied and was admitted to the Fast Track Drilling Program at Stena Drilling in 2012. I started aboard the Stena IceMAX stationed in French Guiana and followed the programme up to my current position as Operations Engineer. Through the programme I was exposed to engineering in the offshore industry and got training from various different departments onboard a drillship," he says.

Nick completed his training in 2014 and is one of four Operations Engineers in Stena Drilling’s operations team. "It’s a varied role that involves analysing and reporting operations statistics, assisting in tenders, planning for new wells and providing day to day support to rig operations." The 28 year old Operations Engineer is hardworking, resourceful, flexible and adaptive and loves human interaction.

"I work with many clients and every vessel has a large crew, so I get to meet many people. It’s both the most challenging and most rewarding part of my job. I quickly have to build relationships as I move from job to job. It suits me perfectly since I get on well with people and really enjoy it," he says. "I also like the technical part of my job, and I’m keen to learn every part of it, even things outside my role just because I find them interesting," he adds.

When he’s not working or studying, he’s currently going for a second Masters, he likes to play and listen to music. "Music is a great passion of mine and I play guitar. I often have earphones on when I’m working as well. My other passion is football, especially the Celtic Football Club, and I try to play it as often as I can."

Being an engineer is in line with his ambitions as a youth, but he ended up in the oil industry more or less by accident. "But it was a happy accident," Nick says, with a smile. "When I was studying civil engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow I saw that BP offered GBP 2,000 scholarship and an internship. I needed the money, so I grabbed the opportunity and got the internship as a bonus."

"Having completed my master’s degree (and the internship) I returned to BP and eventually found myself on the drillship Stena Carron, which they chartered at the time. Aboard the Stena Carron I got a good sense of Stena as a company and saw better career opportunities with them. So, I applied for the Fast Track Drilling Program at Stena Drilling and got admitted."


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