Gaining STEM experience across the country: New Grad Lauren Coombs
March 2023 – Originally from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, Lauren Coombs, New Grad at Cenovus Energy, has had unique opportunities to gain experience and build her skillset in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. These opportunities have allowed her to venture across the country in her journey to progress her engineering career.
“My involvement in STEM started at a young age, from participating in science fairs to helping as a math mentor in school,” shares Lauren.
As a student, Lauren took on some interesting STEM roles that helped build her skillset and experience. While working with Women in Science and Engineering, she was positioned at the National Research Council of Canada as a Marine Safety Research Assistant. Following this, she held various roles with Nalcor Energy, before joining Cenovus as a co-op student in the Atlantic region as an engineering student working in asset integrity and our West White Rose Project.
“The Engineers-in-Training (EIT) that were on rotation in Newfoundland always spoke highly of Cenovus’s New Grad Program,” shares Lauren. “This made it a very attractive option for me post-graduation.”
Lauren was excited about developing her breadth of knowledge working in different positions and business units and knew it would be a great tool to help her develop personally and professionally while contributing to the success of the organization.
Lauren graduated from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and kicked off her New Grad rotation in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, where she joined our Thermal Facilities Engineering team. Here, one of her main roles was to help improve efficiencies by helping to debottleneck our Pikes Peak South disposal system.
Following this, she moved to Calgary, Alberta for her second rotation and joined the Downstream Technical Services Integrity team. In this role, Lauren authored an analysis related to pipe corrosion which contributed to improving asset integrity at our Lloydminster Refinery.
For her final and current rotation, Lauren made her way to our Foster Creek operations near Cold Lake, Alberta to join the Facilities Engineering team, and executed management of change engineering work packages at the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) facility.
“The New Grad Program has exposed me to multiple disciplines of engineering across different teams and has pushed me outside my comfort zone, in the best possible ways,” says Lauren. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the country, meet new people and diversify my knowledge through this unique exposure in different environments.”
Throughout her rotations, she’s worked on a variety of projects such as resolving engineering investigations, coordinating and delivering fixed equipment mechanical integrity programs, and providing frontline engineering support. She’s also taken on development opportunities within Cenovus, such as hosting a booth at our staff Innovation Summit, mentoring co-op students in the New Grad Buddy Program and participating in the Global Energy Show.
“I’ve received vast formal and informal training that will be vital in the achievement of my Professional Engineering status,” says Lauren. “I’ve also made many strong connections and cherished memories during my time in the program.”
As Lauren wraps up her final year as a New Grad, she looks forward to joining another team and continuing her career at Cenovus.
“I’ve been impressed by the diversity of thought within the organization,” shares Lauren. “It’s always challenging to start a new position, but the welcoming and supportive culture at Cenovus has made it a smooth and enjoyable transition.”