As a pipeline integrity technology major at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Ben McKay knew there were an array of career opportunities in his field, but when he gained hands-on experience as an intern, he found his niche.
Last summer, McKay was one of seven interns hired by Shafer, Kline & Warren (SKW) for its 10-week internship program. Based out of SKW’s Tulsa office, McKay spent his summer assisting with projects and learning from SKW’s corrosion services team. After he completed his degree program, SKW offered McKay a full-time position as a corrosion technician.
“Ben took advantage of the opportunities offered through the internship program and worked with some very knowledgeable technicians,” said Brandon Pipesh, vice president of pipeline integrity and construction. “When he presented on his experience at SKW, he outlined an in-depth understanding of the tasks he was exposed to.”
During his internship, McKay was paired with mentor Shaun Powell, an engineering technician in SKW’s pipeline services. As his mentor, Powell oversaw McKay’s work and assured he gained experience on a variety of projects.
“Ben was very eager to learn,” said Powell. “He asked a lot of questions, which is exactly what you hope for with an intern or new hire. He learned very quickly.”
Now, as a full-time corrosion technician, McKay will perform pipeline integrity assessments for liquid and natural gas pipelines.
“I am looking forward to getting back out in the field and further enhancing my experience and abilities,” said McKay. “In the internship, I followed my mentor’s lead. I want to really grow as an employee and learn to make decisions and complete projects on my own.”
Originally from Adair, Oklahoma, McKay earned his NACE International Cathodic Protection Level 1 certification during his internship.
“If I wanted to see or experience something, SKW worked to get me that experience and those experiences were invaluable,” said McKay. “I would highly recommend joining a company that focuses on giving you hands-on experience as a student or young professional. Take advantage of those opportunities to broaden your knowledge.”
On May 23, SKW will welcome another nine interns to its offices in Lenexa, Kansas, North Kansas City, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“The intern program is really a great way for SKW to seek out potential employees,” said Powell. “It allows us to find quality individuals and help them gain valuable career experience while evaluating whether they would be a good fit within our teams.”