Then & now: Meet Joel and Mike from our northern Alberta oil sands operations

September 2023 – The term employee benefits means different things to different people. Some employees value benefits like paid time off and dental coverage, but others value informal benefits like employee development. Cenovus Energy provides both and fosters a culture of learning and development to support employee growth during their career. Our culture of continuous learning has been a factor in why many employees have spent the majority or entirety of their career with us. 

Recently, we caught up with two long-term employees from our oil sands operations in northern Alberta who started with Cenovus as students in the mid-2000s. Learn more about how they got their start ‘then’ and where they are ‘now’.

Joel Arthurs, Senior Coordinator, Steam, Cogeneration and Utilities, Christina Lake 

Joel Arthurs started in 2006 as a student at our Foster Creek operations, where he completed both his fourth- and third-class power engineering certificate practicums. During his practicums, Joel’s role was to shadow operations staff, complete water tests, and “learn as much as you can!”

Since his time as a student, Joel has worked in several operational roles, including Unit Operator, Shift Engineer and Senior Coordinator. 

When asked what motivated him to stay with Cenovus throughout his career, he had two answers – the people and the development opportunities.

“Simply put, I work with great people,” says Joel. “But in addition to the people, there are so many opportunities to work on different projects and teams, or in entirely different functions within the company, which is very appealing for someone developing their career."

"And as the company evolves, there seems to be even more opportunity to try something new, so that is pretty exciting.” 

Today, Joel is a Senior Coordinator, Steam, Cogeneration and Utilities, at our Christina Lake operations, where he manages the safe operation of both the water and steam plants at the facility. Joel is also the site’s Steam Chief through the Alberta Boilers Safety Association and is responsible for the supervision and safe operation of the power plant at site.

Mike Petrock, Process and Deoiling Coordinator, Foster Creek 

Mike Petrock also began his career at our Foster Creek site, one year prior to Joel in 2005. He started as a student completing his power engineering practicum. During his time as a student, Mike conducted water samples and equipment checks to ensure the facility’s boilers were receiving the correct water quality and the equipment was performing efficiently.

Since 2005, Mike has spent 18 years with Cenovus, working in roles such as Plant Operator, Control Room Operator and Commissioning & Startup Coordinator. Today, he is a Process and Deoiling Coordinator and leads a team of Plant & Control Room Operations staff. Mike and his team ensure that work is completed safely, and operations are running smoothly. He also oversees his team’s development, supporting them with progressing towards future roles at Cenovus.

“Throughout my career, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop through a variety of roles and to have been challenged to never settle for the status quo,” said Mike, when asked about his career journey with Cenovus. “I find it very invigorating to be able to think outside of the box and work for a company that is always innovating and embracing different ideas.” 

Interested in starting your own career with Cenovus? Learn more about our student, new grad and career opportunities and how you can become a part of our team.

Student & new grads
Are you a student or recent graduate looking to deepen your learning and broaden your skillset? Cenovus has a fantastic range of opportunities for aspiring talent. Learn more.
Current opportunities

Want to join our team? Check out our latest job openings.

Then & Now: Meet Alysha and Joey from our U.S. operations
Alysha and Joey started as interns. Today, they have a combined tenure of over 30 years with Cenovus. Learn more about how they got their start 'then' and where they are 'now'. 
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