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The Show Goes On: Virtual Energy Extern Program Training for Greater Houston Area High School & College Freshman Students Begins

IPAA-Extern-Program-Logo-VirtualDespite unprecedented market conditions for the energy sector, and the COVID-19 pandemic affecting physical office environments, the Independent Petroleum Association of America/Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (IPAA/PESA) Energy Education Center Extern Program for high school students and college freshmen continues for its 11th year – this time virtually.

Since 2010, the next generation of America’s oil & natural gas leaders has taken their first eager steps toward securing successful careers within the energy industry. Each summer, high school juniors/seniors and college freshmen are eligible to participate in the IPAA/PESA Extern Program.

The program provides professional development and a job shadowing opportunity for future STEM and business students at various Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth petroleum exploration, production and service company locations. Over the past 11 years, 36 oil and natural gas companies have hosted 752 top students.

This summer, more than 40 students are participating in the Extern Program. The program content begins with four days of virtual training for participating students, starting on Tuesday, June 2. The training focuses on improving students’ soft skills before they spend time with their assigned company – these include communication, critical thinking, conflict resolution and time management. Externs underwent a competitive selection process and were selected from greater Houston area high schools and colleges.

IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center Externs in 2018

IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center Externs in 2018

“The IPAA/PESA Extern Program, our capstone program, provides invaluable professional development training and insight into the energy industry and we are proud to welcome this year’s outstanding extern cohort.” said Anne Ford, IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center Senior Vice President.

Hy Thach, a student at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, and extern candidate, said “With the amazing opportunity to participate in the IPAA/PESA extern program, I am looking forward to building new connections, creating long-lasting friendships, and most importantly, learning about the ethics, the motivation, and the dream for engineers in the oil and natural gas industry.” Ms. Thach is interested in a career in mathematics and/or philosophy as she is passionate about both fields.

Jonathan Deflores, a junior at Milby High school and extern candidate wants to be a petroleum engineer and says “I hope to learn the valuable skills that will help benefit me in whatever future path lies ahead.”

In late May, Energy Education Center staff hosted a virtual meeting for this year’s extern candidates and their families to discuss what the program would look like this year and answer any questions. The Energy Education Center team also held virtual trainings with Extern Program alumni who will be volunteering with the program this summer.

The IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center is grateful for the support of the Extern Program sponsors and partners: Core Lab, Dale Carnegie, Energy Training Resources, Halliburton, Occidental, Oceaneering, Shell, and Weir Oil & Gas.

About the IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center

Founded in 2006, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA) Energy Education Center is composed of five high school engineering, geoscience, and leadership academies within the Houston and the Fort Worth Independent School Districts and a middle school STEM Career Exploration initiative in the Permian Basin. The mission is to provide students with a multidisciplinary, advanced academic learning experience in science, engineering, mathematics, and emerging technology concepts needed to pursue professional training and degrees within the oil and natural gas industry. To learn more, visit

About Independent Petroleum Association of America

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.

About Petroleum Equipment & Services Association

Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA) is the unified voice for the energy industry’s oilfield service, supply & manufacturing companies. Innovation and technological developments of PESA member companies have created an economic engine, bolstering the US economy with jobs and producing secure, affordable energy. Since 1933, PESA’s mission is to promote and advocate for policies that will support this sector’s continued achievements in job creation, technological innovation and economic stability. For more information, please visit




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