Early Career

A Difference in Perspectives

Staff Reports

About the author:  Hi, my name is Nathan and I grew up in Yukon, OK, in a neighborhood sitting on the land which my great-grandfather claimed in the Oklahoma land run over 100 years ago.  After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, I moved to Tulsa to marry my college sweetheart and start my career with Williams. At Williams, I am currently a rotational engineer working in the Four Corners area.

Almost everything is different in a field office compared to the corporate office. For starters, field offices always have tons of food. But I digress. Our corporate office, where I worked last year, is housed in our 667 ft. tower which dominates the Tulsa skyline. Now I work in a two story building that is totally hidden behind a small New Mexican hill.

The differences in the buildings mirror the differences in the jobs themselves. Working in the Tulsa tower is like having a 600 ft. view of the company. You get to see how the different parts of the company interact and complement each other. You get to hear the overall strategy of where the company is going and why. But just like looking out of a 51st floor window and trying to see if you need to wash your car, sometimes it is difficult to see the details of what is going on in the different areas of the company. The field office is the opposite. You might not hear too much about how oil change agreements in Wyoming could benefit our compression group in Pennsylvania, but you know very quickly when you have sized a valve and it works as you intended.

Both of these positions are greatly needed for a company the size of Williams to function. You need people with the depth of knowledge and vision to design each and every component carefully. You also need the lookouts, who keep their eyes to the horizon and search for the next big move. As for me, I don’t know which I want to be in the long run, but I now can appreciate the necessity of both.