Opportunities to spend summers working for top U.S. companies and other organizations are adding to the experiences of students enrolled in Saudi Aramco’s College Degree Program for Non-employees, or CDPNE. Aramco Services Co. (ASC) developed the CDPNE internship program in 2009 to give students real-world experience as part of their undergraduate studies.

Interest and participation in the program continues to increase.  This past summer, 27 undergraduate students were placed in summer internships – up 63 percent over the past two years.

Hashim Alsadah, a supply chain management student at Michigan State University, appreciated the opportunity to help implement a vendor managed inventory system for hardware parts at Johnson Controls. 

During Alsadah’s internship, he identified usage of common hardware by line and the process, including cost, and he also helped realize potential savings through reduced or eliminated non-value-added activities and indirect-labor headcount. 

These were just some of the experiences he took back to the classroom.  “I also learned key traits such as networking, effective communication, creative thinking and analytical skills,” he said.

Amal Al Ebrahim, a geophysics major at Texas A&M, participated in an eight-week program at Stanford University called SURGE (Summer Undergraduate Research in Geoscience and Engineering).  SURGE combines rigorous research in a Stanford laboratory or research group with a comprehensive training and mentoring program for students considering graduate study.  

Al Ebrahim’s highlights included weekly seminars, field trips and a research project involving 4-D seismic simulation for reservoir monitoring. “What I loved about the project is that I was able to learn about each step of the simulation process,” she said. 

The CDPNE undergraduate internship program gives new dimension to textbooks and lab work, the students say, and is especially helpful since many universities do not require or help arrange internship programs for undergraduates. 

Atallah Alharbi, a petroleum engineering student at Texas A&M University, said his internship with a global oilfield services company “reduced the gap between academia and a real-life work environment.” His internship included helping to improve well-cement mixing in the field.  “This internship is a motivation for me to work harder in school, since it helped me realize that the knowledge I have is something real, not only calculations and numbers that have no meaning.“

The Dow Chemical Company hosted four Saudi Aramco-sponsored students this summer for a 6-week period at its headquarters city of Midland, Michigan.  In addition to being introduced to  several members of its senior executives, including Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris, the students met with other business and functional leaders and were briefed on Dow’s values, philosophies as well as some business and functional concepts. They had opportunities to “job shadow” Dow leaders to get a taste of what doing business is like in the real world. They also visited Dow’s largest manufacturing complexes in the states of Michigan, Texas, and Louisiana.


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