Photo: Courtesy Emma Bedard ’11

What she does: In mid-December, Bedard was in the middle of a five-week assignment as part of a team responsible for drilling an oil well in British Columbia, Canada. On the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, she worked closely with the directional driller and prepared, monitored, and helped to troubleshoot a tool that tracks and helps steer the drilling machinery as the hole is being drilled and takes measurements to ensure that drilling is done in the most ­efficient way. 

The challenges: If the tool fails or surveys prove to be inaccurate, then the directional driller and the representative of the company that owns the oil well are “breathing down your neck until you fix it,” says Bedard, who had an internship with Schlumberger in the summer of 2010 in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and then was offered a full-time position. 

What she likes most: “The unpredictability, the fact that it’s not a desk job (for the most part), and that every day/night is never the same as the previous shift.”