Chris Olson


Project Engineer

Sargent & Lundy

Master of Engineering, Engineering Mgmt with Certificate in Leadership and Management 

University of Colorado - Boulder 2020

Q: Would you please briefly talk about the ASME PD CC and its objectives?

A: The ASME CC is a leadership and management program (with an engineering and technology basis) offered to college Juniors, Seniors and Graduate students as an introduction to the petroleum industry. The program itself will offer each participant exposure to various aspects of the industry and the chance to work together in teams to solve problems or complete tasks with the guidance of experienced industry professionals. The program is also an unique opportunity for participants to set themselves apart from their peers through experience and networking, as acceptance to the CC is only offered to select students who show extraordinary promise.  My objectives as a mentor are straightforward – to help each participant take as many lessons from the CC experience as they are able and develop their skills. Ideally, this program will act as a springboard for new opportunities and the participants will share the experiences at home and school, encouraging new candidates to apply.

Q: What made you decide on being a mentor for the Collegiate Council?

A: I was a member of the CC as an undergraduate and the experience was good for my career. After my years of industry experience and seeing new engineers stuggle to gain a foothold, I thought this would be a good way to participate and help pass on what I have learned.

Q: Why should students apply?
A: In today’s competitive job market, students need to be looking for ways to set themselves apart from their peers. The ASME CC is an opportunity for outgoing students to do that and add quality experience to their resume at the same time.

Q: How do you think that the ASME PD CC impacts its members professional life?


A: Joining the CC gives each student the chance to experience the industry in a professional setting and network with experienced professionals before their first full-time job (typically). This exposure allows for practice at polishing the resume and other team skills prior to entering the workforce and helps the individuals set themselves apart.


Q: Can you compare the council from when you were a student on the council to how it currently stands? What has changed or improved?


A: The biggest change I have seen with the council is the inclusion of more participants and the amount of  mentor participation. The number of students participating is likely due to the situation in 2020 and I would expect competition for admission to the CC to increase in coming years. Also, the type and scale of student projects has grown immensely which is very impressive. The work being done by the student teams on CC is professional quality, without a doubt.

Q: Any advice you would give to engineers striving to further themselves and continue to learn about the industry? 

A: My advice – always keep learning and push yourself to be better. Do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone – that is where new opportunities and adventures are found. Get involved in industry events and organizations, like the Gas Processors Association (GPA), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and others like that. This is where you can build your network outside the workplace. Find hobbies you may enjoy and share those with other associates. Develop relationships and be personable, yet professional. Last but not least, work on your communication skills (public speaking, writing and composition, etc.) to help set yourself apart.