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Putting learning into practice: Fuel student Tanner Barnes

July 2020 - In June of this year, Tanner Barnes, and several other students from across Alberta, began their Cenovus work placements as part of the Cenovus Fuel student and new graduate program. As a third-year Petroleum Engineering student at the University of Alberta, Tanner was eager to put his learning into practice and gain some work experience in the oil and natural gas industry.

Tanner Barnes, Fuel  program participant
Tanner Barnes, Fuel program participant

“I heard about the Fuel program and its success before I had even applied for the program,” explains Tanner. “I have friends who were previously involved, and they would often talk about the meaningful assignments, the field work opportunities and the mentorship offered at Cenovus and how the work experience was second to none.”

Tanner is currently working on the Opportunity Engineering Team and has been able to contribute to a variety of Foster Creek and Christina Lake (FCCL) projects. He is currently leading a documentation update project which will help streamline processes at site. He also continues to assist team members with a variety of other projects in streamlining FCCL production. “It didn’t take me long to realize how great the working environment is at Cenovus, with everyone willing to provide valuable learning experiences and contribute to our student experience and development.”

While Tanner admits COVID-19 may have altered his work experience somewhat, he believes the unique experiences during this time are contributing to the learning. “Cenovus has risen to the task and gone above and beyond to make it possible for us students to be able to learn and make connections in a way that has never been done before,” says Tanner. “Microsoft Teams has been great and made it super easy to be productive throughout the day.”

While Tanner looks forward to potentially going into the office and getting more of the traditional “in-person” work experience as the province re-opens, he is already amazed with what he’s been able to do in the program since he started.  

“One month into my work term I have gained so much knowledge and met so many people with different experiences, which is exactly what I had hoped for over my work term,” says Tanner. “Between the meaningful assignments, field visit opportunities and the mentorship offered at Cenovus, all of the Fuel participants are being set up for success.”