Work with Aera, as an Employee or a Supplier

Employee profiles

In their own words...
Meet a few of our 1,300 employees. Click on an image to view each employee's profile.

Ron, resevoir engineer

Hometown:
Huntington Beach, Calif.

Education:
University of Southern California

Peter, process manager

Hometown:
Birmingham, England

Education:
BS, petroleum engineering, Colorado School of Mines; MS, petroleum engineering, Tulsa University

Ali, drilling engineer

Hometown:
Eureka, Mont.

Education:
Montana Tech

Fernando, reservoir engineer

Hometown:
Maracaibo, Venezuela

Education:
Universidad Simon Bolivar;
Colorado School of Mines

Ladan, financial analyst

Hometown:
Tehran, Iran

Education:
University of Tehran;
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Andy, engineering technology manager

Hometown:
Richardson, Texas

Education:
BS, chemical engineering, Texas A&M University

Roshani, facilities engineer

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Ted, operations manager

Hometown:
Kingsport, Tenn.

Education:
University of Tennessee

Adam, process supervisor

Hometown:
Lamont, Calif.

Education:
Arvin High School

Prentice, process specialist

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
Bakersfield High School

Miller, senior production engineer

Hometown:
Arcadia, Calif.

Education:
BS, petroleum engineering, Colorado School of Mines; MBA, California State University, Bakersfield

Rita, senior production engineer

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
Columbia University

Gabe, process specialist

Hometown:
Coalinga, Calif

Education:
West Hills College

Ashly, process specialist

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
Attended California State University, Bakersfield

Myla, information specialist

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
California State University, Bakersfield

Lucas, health and safety engineer

Hometown:
Chinook, Mont.

Education:
Montana Tech

Miller, senior production engineer

Hometown:
Arcadia, Calif.

Education:
BS, petroleum engineering, Colorado School of Mines;
MBA, California State University, Bakersfield

Experience:
Joined Aera in 1997; Additional five years industry experience

How would you describe Aera?

Aera is very team oriented. I enjoy working in a collaborative environment where, by working with others, we create something beyond what any one of us could have created independently. Teams are given a great deal of responsibility and the authority to make changes when needed.

What do you like about working at Aera?

The people and the culture are great. The work is rewarding. But, I also like working for a company that isn’t adverse to change. My position within Aera didn’t exist several years ago. Our team made the case that we needed someone to focus on bigger picture issues related to equipment. I get to be a problem-solver and work with teams to improve our business. It’s been a very successful change for the company and a great opportunity for me personally.

Do Aera’s purpose, vision and values make an impact?

At Aera you can see our PVV in action, which is far more important than just having a nice statement. The PVV provides a common goal we can believe in and put into our daily actions and decisions. We are encouraged to award “certificates of recognition” to our coworkers who exemplify our values. I enjoy seeing someone recognized for providing extra help on a project or showing a bias for action.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Soccer is a passion of mine. I stay involved by refereeing high school and club soccer as well as coaching an AYSO girl’s team. I enjoy photography (people and landscapes), cooking, landscaping and building, hiking and triathlons. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family.

Ron, production engineer

Hometown:
Huntington Beach, Calif.

Education:
BS, chemical engineering, University of Southern California

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2009

Why did you choose to join Aera?

During my internship the CEO spoke to all the interns and, at the end of the meeting, he offered a one-on-one session to anyone who wanted to talk with him more. I took him up on the offer and I was able to ask him about leadership, family and work, life of a CEO, Aera’s future and other questions I had. He took time out of his busy schedule to get to know an intern and that made me see that he genuinely cared about his employees, adding to my list of great reasons to work for Aera.

What is a favorite project you’ve worked on?

My last Six Sigma was working to improve the operation of horizontal wells. As we did analysis, I was able to work with a variety of groups who all brought a different perspective to the project. Together we worked on a solution and created standard operating procedures. In the end, our solution worked and saved the company about $2 million a year.

What does your typical week look like?

I love that my job changes every day. I stay focused on the base business – making sure producers and injectors are working efficiently. But I also have time to participate in process improvement projects and review new technologies. At a minimum, I research one new technology a month to see if there is applicability to our business. You just never know what you might find.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I enjoy snowboarding, fishing, home brewing and coaching a girls football team. I’m also trying to learn Japanese as well as improve my Chinese language skills so that I can better communicate with family in Taiwan.

Joseph, geologist

Hometown:
New York, NY

Education:
BS, geology, Binghamton University;
MS, geology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2009

What attracted you to Aera?

The size of the company was important to me. I wanted to be in a position where I could have a high level of responsibility very quickly. Aera’s size and structure have allowed me to immediately start my career working on a number of exciting projects that I can follow to fruition. I have a lot of support and the hands-on training is exceptional. I’m not lost in the mix.

What is a favorite project you’ve worked on?

I’ve been working on reservoir characterization and development of a new reservoir. I’m analyzing new information and discovering the unknown.

What makes Aera special?

Aera is a very socially-minded company. There is a strong emphasis on valuing the communities where we work. And, as an employee, I personally feel valued. We accomplish quality work in a relaxed environment. There is a definite balance between work and life outside of work.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I really enjoy the activities afforded to me by California’s diverse landscape and glad I made the move. Bakersfield is comfortable and close enough to Yosemite and the mountains that I can go rock climbing or hiking. I also enjoy skiing in the winter.

Andy, engineering technology manager

Hometown:
Richardson, Texas

Education:
BS, chemical engineering, Texas A&M University

Experience:
Aera and Aera predecessor companies since 1985

What do you like about working for Aera?

The work is technically challenging and I have the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of employees. I’m also proud to work for a company that has integrity. We do what’s right and clearly value health, safety and the environment. When I’m in the community, I’m proud to say I work for Aera.

How does Aera support your career goals?

I enjoy being a “jack of all trades.” I started out as a facilities engineer and spent about 10 years building projects. I knew that I wanted to understand more about the oil industry. Aera supported me as I transitioned into a production engineer role and later moved into information technology as a project manager. From there I transferred into reservoir surveillance. I use the knowledge from all of these positions in my current role. If you’re willing to learn and grow, Aera will support you.

What makes Aera special?

With Aera I have a balance between my personal life and my career. I feel genuinely valued and know there is concern for my well-being at a personal level. The people are phenomenal. I will never forget the kindness of Aera and my co-workers when my son was born with a serious medical condition. One employee even made an unsolicited donation of four weeks vacation time. To this day I still do not know who made that generous gesture but I try to pay that kindness forward in meaningful ways whenever I can.

What interests do you have outside of work?

My activities are centered on my family. I’m a “band dad” who has a daughter that plays the marimba and another that plays the flute. My son is active with baseball. We enjoy camping and hiking in the Sequoias. I still marvel at those magnificent redwood trees. Because I grew up in the city, I find it astounding that you can actually grow food. In our backyard I have planted plum and peach trees, grapes and berries. My children definitely take it for granted that you can get out of the pool and grab a fresh plum from the tree.

Peter, projects manager

Hometown:
Birmingham, England

Education:
BS, petroleum engineering, Colorado School of Mines;
MS, petroleum engineering, Tulsa University

Experience:
Joined Aera in 1997; Started in the industry 1993

Why did you choose to join Aera?

I had been working for a service company and was looking for a career with more stability. As a dual career household, getting transferred every few years is really tough. My wife and I found ourselves more than once trying to juggle two houses and two jobs. I also wanted a career where I had more control of the decision-making. Aera has given me both stability and tremendous opportunities to make contributions to the company’s success.

What is a favorite project you’ve worked on?

A few projects come to mind, but one with a big impact was a change in our cyclic steaming philosophy for one of our fields. We conducted a Six Sigma project to evaluate the performance of our methods. Through that process we developed a new approach which improved our success and saved the company millions of dollars. This was a great example of Aera’s willingness to take a chance on change. In the end it worked brilliantly.

How would you describe Aera?

The first word that comes to mind is “community.” In some companies you feel like a small part of a large operation. At Aera I feel more like a part-owner. I have opportunities to impact the direction of the company and to learn different parts of the business.

What interests do you have outside of work?

My activities generally support my son’s interests. I have coached soccer and t-ball. I’m involved with Cub Scouts and look forward to attending his baseball games. I also like to read books about leadership and technical journals about the oil industry. As a family we enjoy traveling – a favorite is Caribbean cruises.

Ali, production engineer

Hometown:
Eureka, Mont.

Education:
BS, petroleum engineering, Montana Tech

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2010

How would you describe Aera?

Friendly. Comfortable. Highly technical. We are serious about our jobs, but there is room for fun. Aera succeeds in creating an excellent balance between work and life. The benefits are excellent and who doesn’t love getting four weeks of vacation?

What do you like about working for Aera?

The people, the projects and the principles. When I joined the company I immediately had full responsibility for projects, but I also had a mentor and others to support me. I work with world-class technical professionals with years of experience that they freely share. There is definitely a team culture and everyone works together toward a common goal. It’s a great place to be.

How does Aera support your career goals?

Because of Aera’s structure and portfolio, I have the chance to work with many different kinds of lift – heavy oil, light oil, steam flood, water flood. I am working with some of the largest pumping units in the world in some very complex reservoirs. I don’t have to wait years to gain experience with a huge technical array.

Do Aera’s purpose, vision and values make an impact?

The values are seen every day throughout the company. Integrity. Being a responsible member of the community. Protecting people and the environment. These are not only company values, but they also go to a personal level. We have opportunities to mentor students and be involved in the community. I really enjoyed participating in the United Way Day of Caring when Aera employees teamed together to help build shelters for the homeless.

Roshani, facilities engineer

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
BS, civil engineering, California Polytechnic State University,
San Luis Obispo

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2010

What do you like about working for Aera?

Aera has a unique culture that allows me to have true ownership over projects. The environment is open and team-oriented so I can easily bounce ideas around with others or ask for help if I need it. The people are friendly, accessible and willing to help. There’s no feeling of competitiveness. We are a team.

What is a favorite project you’ve worked on?

I enjoy projects where I have ownership and responsibility. I had a project installing a new SulfaTreat vessel and was responsible for everything from the design to the construction. I also had a piping project that’s part of our water softening process. I had to learn the process, the piping and the fitting selections from the beginning. I made some mistakes, but now I’m becoming the go-to person for these systems. I don’t think I’d get these kinds of experiences somewhere else.

What makes Aera special?

Aera has made tremendous process and technical achievements. But, the business extends further. We have Club Aera which offers a variety of activities to employees and families. On one of the bus trips to a nearby ski resort I got to try snowboarding, which I can’t wait to try again. Through Team A.E.R.A. I am able to spend some of my work time mentoring high school students as they explore science and technical careers. I also tutor second-graders who need help with reading. It feels great knowing you are helping them with a skill that they’ll need for the rest of their lives.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I enjoy biking. Bakersfield has a bike path that runs for over 20 miles, mostly along the river. I haven’t followed all of it yet, but I’m getting close. I’m also learning to bake. My team members love being my taste testers as I try to perfect chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies and carrot cake.

Ladan, financial analyst

Hometown:
Tehran, Iran

Education:
BA, public administration, University of Tehran;
MBA from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2000; Started in the industry 1982

What makes Aera special?

The people. There is a real sense of community within the organization. I feel fortunate to have such talented and supportive people around me. I don’t feel away from home when I’m at work. When my dad was in the hospital, one of my co-workers went out of her way to buy me lunch to be sure I was eating right. I feel supported professionally and personally.

How does Aera support your career goals?

I joined Aera mid-career and was pleased to find a culture that puts an emphasis on continued learning. There are all kinds of different classes offered by Aera that help employees with personal and professional development. I can sign-up and take what interests me, even if the class doesn’t directly relate to accounting. I’ve taken classes in problem solving, diversity and team work, which helps me to be a better team member.

Do Aera’s purpose, vision and values make an impact?

It means a lot to me that Aera has such strong company values and believes in making the lives of employees and the community better. Aera’s values give the company a soul. Working at Aera I have always felt that I’m part of something special.

What interests do you have outside of work?

My family and my faith. I am the sole caretaker for my elderly father and enjoy visits with my sisters and their families. I also like to read and listen to all types of music. I am passionate about literacy and look forward to volunteering in that regard down the road.

Adam, process supervisor

Hometown:
Lamont, Calif.

Education:
Arvin High School

Experience:
Joined Aera predecessor company in 1991; Started in the industry 1988

What do you like about working for Aera?

After more than two decades in the industry, there is always something new to learn. In my eyes there is never time for complacency or you lose opportunities for innovation. Aera really provides opportunities for growth. I give 100 percent to my job and leave content each day knowing that, while there is still work to do, I’ve impacted the business. Also, Aera is fully committed to ensuring that every day, everybody goes home alive and well. There’s no doubt in my mind that Aera is an industry leader when it comes to protecting people and the environment.

What is a favorite project you’ve worked on?

I took a one-year assignment to work with the Lean development team. The project I worked on was helping new employees with best practices for problem-solving – from brainstorming to analyzing data to implementing countermeasures. It was an amazing opportunity because I got to help new employees and meet other team members throughout the company.

How does Aera support your career goals?

I believe Aera is an advocate for helping employees advance. Back in the day there were no mentors or sponsors, you had to learn as you go. Aera has really moved employee development forward so that you become a very well-rounded employee who understands the interconnected parts of the business. I had a goal to become a supervisor and Aera has helped improve my skills to make that happen.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I spend a lot of time with my sons camping and fishing. On my Fridays off I golf at courses all around Kern County as well as Simi Valley, San Diego, San Francisco and the Central Coast. I do have pursuit of a college degree on the horizon, probably in business management.

Gabe, production operator

Hometown:
Coalinga

Education:
GED, West Hills College

Experience:
Joined Aera predecessor company in 2005; Started in the industry 1994

What do you like most about your job?

The people I work with are great. And, I like that once I’m on the lease, I get to be my own boss in a way. I’m responsible for my wells and get to troubleshoot my own problems. But, I always know there is help nearby if needed. Plus, the field is very close to home and that makes it easy to be with my family without a lot of travel.

What is a typical workday like for you?

We’re here to produce oil. My main concern is to make sure my wells are producing at maximum. We start in a morning meeting to review what needs to be done that day. I then pass by all my wells to be sure there are no leaks and they are all producing oil. Between me and a co-worker on the opposite shift, we have about 220 wells to look after. Once I know everything is running well, I start well testing. I work to keep production at the level that’s expected. It makes for a very busy day.

What makes Aera different from other companies?

Aera is a great place to work. They actually care for people and the environment. They want to make sure everyone goes home safely, every day. You can go to training to continue learning about new things. Moving to Aera was one of the best moves I ever made. It’s been very good for me.

What do you enjoy doing during your free time away from work?

I love being involved with my kids and spending time with my wife. We have three teenagers, two boys and one girl. They are very involved in basketball, baseball, football, softball, cheerleading, and soccer. By the time one thing is finished, it’s time to move on to the next.

Fernando, reservoir engineer

Hometown:
Maracaibo, Venezuela

Education:
BS, mechanical engineering, Universidad Simon Bolivar;
MS, petroleum engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2008; Started working in the industry 1999

What attracted you to Aera?

I was looking for a balanced life where I could pursue a technical career without moving every two years. I have worked in different countries and for different clients, and I can tell you that Aera is really unique. It’s a very efficient company and financially strong. The people are motivated. I have my dream job.

What does your typical week look like?

I provide technical support for both short-term and long-term projects that essentially protect current production as well as look for future barrels. I appreciate seeing the impact I have on the business when the work I recommend is executed. It’s gratifying to see good technical ideas implemented in the field.

Do Aera’s purpose, vision and values make an impact?

I share the values as if they were mine. I want to raise my children so they have the same values. Having integrity, respect, a passion for learning, and being accountable to others are all strong values that I hope my children will have.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Thanks to Aera’s efforts to encourage personal health, I now play tennis once a week at a local tennis club. I’m also learning to golf which is different from my culture. Bakersfield has more golf courses than my entire country. I’m also working on blending the Texas and California cultures and learning to smoke ribs, tri-tip and brisket.

Ashly, reliability specialist

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
Attended California State University, Bakersfield

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2008; Started working in the industry 2006

How would you describe Aera?

The big thing about Aera is that we’re a small community. We look out for each other; support each other. Aera invests in our personal well-being through programs like Healthy Aera. Walking paths on the lease, a gym, nurses and other tools show me that Aera doesn’t care for me just while I’m at work.

What do you like about working at Aera?

Definitely the people. We are a big group of diverse people who come from different parts of the world and different parts of the country. We come together, share our experiences and become a team that moves the company forward. I also like the opportunities there are for me to grow with the company and improve myself. When I came into Aera I knew all about surface equipment, but not really anything about down-hole operations. I have learned a ton about optimizing production and how to use various computer programs to make that happen. I have grown so much and I’m still learning something new every day.

What is a favorite project that you’ve worked on?

I’m passionate about our California Accident Prevention Process. Through CAPP I helped to implement a new lock-out/tag-out procedure that is moving through the company. I’m also part of the CAPP steering team and help to make sure everyone is safe. Aera puts safety front and center so that every day, everybody goes home alive and well.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Spending time with family is really important to me. I also enjoy boating, skiing and knee boarding, and pretty much anything outdoors. Bakersfield is in the middle of everything so it is easy to get to the beach, mountains or Las Vegas. Living here is also affordable. I recently bought my first house, something that would have been very difficult elsewhere.

Prentice, process specialist

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
Bakersfield High School

Experience:
Aera and Aera predecessor companies since 1977

How would you describe Aera?

Outstanding. I am proud of the company and my job. The work is challenging and very satisfying. I come in every morning with a smile on my face and at the end of the day I can see what’s been accomplished and go home with a sense of achievement. It’s a special place that can create that type of feeling.

What do you like about working at Aera?

There are a lot of great reasons to work here. I like that the company and my local leadership team allows me to run my own business. I’ve been given a large amount of responsibility and I can do what’s needed to be successful. The managers really understand and care for people. The environment is open and new ideas or counter opinions are viewed as essential to making us a strong company. Plus, it sure doesn’t hurt that Aera offers great pay and benefits. Getting four weeks of vacation the day you walk in the door is huge.

Do Aera’s purpose, vision and values make an impact?

The everyday values of honesty, integrity and respect go a long way in the business world. Our crews know they can speak their minds and will tell the truth. Protecting people and the environment are values we live. We are all accountable to each other to make sure our processes are working properly. That’s how we continually improve.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Because we live in the heart of the Central Coast wine country, we do enjoy going wine tasting. I also like sports so attend games for the San Francisco Giants or Oakland Raiders, and the No. 1 teams of all time the Boston Patriots and the Red Sox. My wife and I like to travel to Boston, St. Barts, French Caribbean, Mexico, Santa Barbara and other places.

Myla, information specialist

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
BS, business administration, California State University, Bakersfield

Experience:
Joined Aera in 2000; Started working in the industry 1998

What attracted you to Aera?

I believe that Aera is in a league of its own. Our purpose of achieving what others cannot and creating success for those we touch applies to our business, our employees and the community. We are always looking for ways to improve and willing to try new things.

What do you like about working at Aera?

I like what Aera offers in terms for professional and personal development. For example, there is an Aera-sponsored program specifically designed to help women recognize their leadership styles. I am focusing on ways I can be stronger and, as a result, have become much more confident. Aera also has a lot of special benefits for employees. We have an on-site gym with trainers. We have discounts to events and many ways to volunteer in the community. I love working here.

Do Aera’s purpose, vision and values make an impact?

Our values are what create Aera’s unique culture. They keep us focused, efficient and considering the big picture. We are always looking within ourselves to see where we can improve. We also look outside to see how we can improve the community. I volunteer on company-time to help second-graders with their reading skills. I had a student who started the year reading at the kindergarten level and by the end of the year was at grade-level. That’s really creating success for those we touch in a very meaningful way!

What interests do you have outside of work?

Most of my time is spent with family and friends. I’m a single mom with three active children who are involved in school events, sports, theater and our church. Aera gives me the flexibility to be there when they need me. Cooking and baking is something else that I enjoy. I love to try new recipes for casseroles or desserts.

Lucas, health and safety engineer

Hometown:
Chinook, Mont.

Education:
BS, occupational safety and health, Montana Tech

Experience:
Aera intern 2003-04; Joined Aera in 2005

What attracted you to Aera?

When I finished school I had multiple job offers and Aera was superior by far…and it didn’t hurt that I could relocate from Montana to California. Aera has a lot to offer, not only in terms of salary and benefits, but as a company. I wanted a career, not a 9-to-5 job where you do the same thing every day. There is a sense of professionalism throughout the company that makes me want to go to work every morning.

How would you describe Aera?

Aera is a California-based oil company that is jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil. We are secure, safe and well-supported. The office and field environments are non-threatening and the people are top-notch. Aera is a strong company that treats you well.

What makes Aera special?

Aera truly makes safety a value, not a goal or priority. There is a culture that genuinely cares about the health and safety of people and the environment. I think that sets us apart from our competitors. Safety is obvious every step, every second of every day. From the CEO throughout the entire organization, safety is at the front.

What interests do you have outside of work?

The work-life balance that Aera supports is important to me. I have the time to enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, made possible by the nice California weather. I enjoy golfing, hiking at the coast and in Yosemite, mountain biking, archery hunting, fly fishing, and going to the beach. I also spend as much time as I can with my girlfriend, nephews and family.

Ted, operations manager

Hometown:
Kingsport, Tenn.

Education:
BS, mechanical engineering, University of Tennessee

Experience:
Aera and Aera predecessor companies since 1990

What do you like about working for Aera?

My work is very interesting and challenging, and I feel very involved in Aera’s journey. I also work with great people and I like that Aera has well established and clearly communicated visions, values, priorities and processes. It is clear to me that Aera’s actions and intentions are fully aligned with these visions, values and priorities. Plus, Aera’s benefits for employees are great – including getting to live in California.

What makes Aera special?

Aera is a company where smart, dedicated people work together to maximize production while protecting people and the environment. Aera is also very committed to being a respected and good community member. Aera wants and needs people to be involved in all parts of the business and good opportunities are provided.

How does Aera support your career goals?

Throughout my career, Aera leaders have tried to match my assignments with what I enjoy doing – and where I feel like I am making a contribution – while also identifying learning and growth opportunities that provide further development. Also, Aera hires very good people which provide me with a strong network of peers that I can talk with, learn from and look up to as mentors.

What interests to you have outside of work?

My wife and I enjoy traveling to great places in California and beyond. We also like outdoor activities like golf, hiking and skiing.

Rita, process supervisor

Hometown:
Bakersfield, Calif.

Education:
BS, chemical engineering, Columbia University

Experience:
Aera intern 1998-2001; Joined Aera in 2002

How would you describe Aera?

Aera is a company that is small enough to maintain a family atmosphere, but large enough to have an impact on the world around us. The oil business is central to our society and I enjoy working in a position that adds value to the company. You’re not a number at Aera; you don’t get lost in the mix of people. Aera is also a company that legitimately respects the environment and cares for the safety of people.

What do you like about working for Aera?

The people top the list. We have people from a large number of diverse backgrounds and work in a team environment. I love what I do and feel like I’m part of something special. Aera is known and respected in the community and it’s a thing of honor to say where I work. This is more than a job for me. It’s a fast-paced, challenging career. I love what I do and am proud to tell people I work for Aera.

What makes Aera special?

We have a huge number of dedicated, caring people who create a “can-do” spirit. When we say we have a team environment, we mean it. Cooperation and transparency are part of what make us successful. We do amazing things in a lean environment and are committed to total process reliability so that we continually improve.

What interests to you have outside of work?

I like running on the bike path, shopping and spending time with family. But, I really value my down-time at home. When there is nothing on the calendar I find it relaxing to just be at home cooking or watching TV.