Hear from Becca in her own words:

My name is Becca Nothof. I grew up in Northern Illinois, surrounded by cornfields. I went to the University of Illinois for civil engineering. Currently, I’m a civil engineer supporting the refinery units. My main job tasks are unit support, inspection, repair design, and setting up inspection/repair programs for equipment such as pipe racks and flare structures.

I went to college in central Illinois and didn’t know much about the oil and gas industry. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I got a recruitment email and learned that I had an opportunity to join the industry. I interned with Shell and came back after graduation to work full time. Right now, I am in the graduate rotation program at Deer Park. As a civil engineer by degree, this role helps me to improve upon my strengths. My other graduate rotation positions were Deepwater Construction and Project Engineering at Deer Park. With these three positions, I’ve had experience from front end project identification all the way through execution and asset handover.

I really enjoy the work I’ve been doing on long term strategy development. I’m combining both a short term and long term view to create a lasting plan that will assure the equipment will be in a safe and stable place for years to come. It’s really exciting and challenging. I’m also passionate about working with people. Shell is a collaborative company, and it’s really inspiring to be part of conversations where the group works together for a common goal.

Having grown up in a much smaller town than Houston, I really enjoy exploring the local culture and all that Houston has to offer. There are so many places to explore and delicious cuisines to try! I also spend much of my time volunteering with the local high school robotics team. 

My advice for others entering this field is that there will be many times that you’ll second guess yourself. You’ll wonder if what you’re doing is the right path, or what people are thinking about you. Maybe something with a team you’ve worked on didn’t go as planned, and you think of all the ways you could have done things different. We all go through these thoughts, and there are many factors that influence the outcome. So it’s important to realize that we have all given it our all and focus on what we’ve learned instead of pointing fingers (whether it be at ourselves or at others). By doing that, we can all grow and improve for the future.

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