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2019 Employer of the Year: LyondellBasell

Amy Thaci, ECS Director, presents LyondellBasell with the Employer of the Year Award.Amy Thaci, ECS Director, presents LyondellBasell with the Employer of the Year Award.

“The co-op term was my highest point in my life so far.”

Wow. Let that sink in for a second. This quote came from an OSU engineering student who co-oped at LyondellBasell last year. While internships and co-ops are often referred to as “impactful”, “a great learning experience” or even “career changing”, it’s rare you hear someone say it was the highest point in their life. It was based on this statement and other testimonials that LyondellBasell was named the ECS 2019 Employer of the Year. Read below to learn what made this company stand out in the words of the three students who nominated them for the award.  

How did this experience help your personal and professional growth?

I was able to interact with like-minded individuals that were recruited by a fantastic University Recruiting team. Not only did I learn about my role as an electrical engineer in a chemical plant, but I improved on all my qualities and skills, such as interpersonal communication, technical skills, teamwork, but most importantly, SAFETY. By working at the petrochemical facility, I was able to recognize and mitigate more hazards while ensuring that the plant functioned in an environmentally safe manner. I was able to learn how to intervene when an unsafe action was performed. I was able to utilize "See Something, Say Something". Prior to my experience, I told myself I did not know what to expect since chemistry was one of my least favorite classes. Now that I've experienced working at LyondellBasell, I truly admire chemistry and the process environment.

What extracurricular activities were provided to engage interns and co-ops with the city in which you worked?

All the volunteer events were in the community and around the city we lived. Houston is a fun place and has a large community. Being able to give back and participate in community events really allowed me to explore the city more. There were also bonding activities with co-ops and management teams at Top Golf and was a fun way to meet one another in the beginning.

What kind of supervision did you receive? Mentorship?

I had a mentor the whole time during this experience. My mentor was amazing and really allowed me to grow as an engineer. He had been working in the field for a long time, so he knew not only what to teach me, but how to teach. Not many people have that skill, but his mentorship and ability to teach me made all the difference in my term.

Why is this company deserving of the ECS "Employer of the Year" Award?

Outstanding 2nd to none young engineer development program. The training doesn't end after the first term; the company truly invests in their co-ops because they are interested in developing you into a well-rounded engineer ready for full time work immediately after graduation. The company also promotes further learning after school with EngineerU for engineers hired within their first 5 years. This program consists of conferences and technical training on specific topics of interest in the industry usually not emphasized enough through coursework alone.

Our hope is that all of our engineering students have valuable co-op and internship experiences. As you evaluate offers, think about what’s important to you, and what opportunity will leave you feeling fulfilled. And know that if an experience doesn’t meet your exact expectations, there’s always learning that can come from it, and you will know better what you ARE looking for. You never know, the next job may be YOUR highest point of life! 

“High achievement always take place in the framework of high expectation.” - Charles Kettering

About the author

Katy Arenschield

Katy Arenschield is the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program Manager.