Early Career

It’s the little things

Staff Reports

About the author:  Hey y’all! My name is Peter and I grew up in Tulsa, OK. I started my career at Williams as a summer intern working in Geographic Information Systems. Following my internship, I returned to the University of Oklahoma where I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. I joined Williams’ engineering rotational program in June of 2013 and haven’t looked back.

 At some point we’ve all heard a variation of the quote “sometimes it’s the little things in life that mean the most.”  While seeing the big picture and having lifelong goals are very important, the small details and choices made along the way make all the difference in shaping who we become.

 After graduation, I moved back to Tulsa to join the Asset Integrity group at Williams. I hoped to get some good field experience during my first rotation, but what transpired during my first year was so much more. After four months, I jumped at the chance to take a short (or so I thought) construction assignment at our Geismar, Louisiana olefins plant. A few weeks assignment turned into 11 months and one amazing experience, which made me a better engineer.  

My initial role performing vessel internal inspections grew from a few weeks to a few months, and once completed, developed into a role pre-commissioning various systems in the plant.  Not only did I become a better engineer because of an initially small opportunity, I made some great friends…and New Orleans is just a little entertaining.

 Managing the small details can also mean big success when a project has high stakes. My previous and current rotations both involve projects where the timeline and budget control are key. One piece of critical equipment ordered late can mean major delays in a project schedule and a large increase in overall project cost. Everyone has to do their part to ensure that the smallest details are addressed.

 The little things can “make or break” you. Managing the details will help ensure it’s the first of those two.