Brendan MacDougall

Completions Engineer

I was born/grew up in: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I now live in: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I completed my training/education at: University of Calgary

Describe what you do at work.

I work in a fast paced environment where we are making lots of decisions every day that are worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. It is a really exciting job for people who like to work in teams and get to see some of the newest and coolest technology in the industry. There is lots of science and math involved in my job and I'm able to use all of my STEM skills on a daily basis to do my job. Physics and chemistry are a big part of what I do when we're designing and engineering equipment, processes and projects.

We get to meet with people from all kinds of different companies and from all over the world to try and come up with solutions to all the problems that arise from the work that we do. You'll most likely start your career working hands on as this is the best way to learn. Most people find their way back to an office job eventually but ultimately the choice is up to you if you want to work in the office or on site.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

Energy is at the heart of everything we do. Look around you, almost everything that we have and use either came from oil and gas or was made by using oil and gas (or some form of energy). By working for an energy company, I not only get to be a significant part of the Albertan and Canadian economy but I also get to help tackle some of the environmental issues facing the oil and gas industry. I take a lot of pride in doing the best that I can to fuel the world's growth but also by doing it the right way. This means doing my job ethically and professionally while looking out for the best interests of the public and the environment.

What motivates you in your career?

I get to work with some of the brightest and smartest people in the world. It's great to work in an environment that is fast paced but also fun. You can make a lot of money but you also get to make a lot of friends. There are all kinds of opportunities to work at different locations around the world too - my company is operating in over 30 countries. If you like to travel, it is a great industry to work in! At the end of the day, one of the best things about the energy industry is that there is such a diversity in the jobs that you can do. It isn't specific to one area and you can move from one function to another to learn about all kinds of different things.

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

I did French immersion and the International Baccalaureate program in high school and went straight into Chemical Engineering at the University of Calgary. I worked during my summers off and did a 14 month internship program after my third year to get some valuable work experience (and some money to fund a Europe trip). I've always enjoyed math and science and my parents helped guide me towards engineering even though they're both teachers.

I think it's important to understand that engineering isn't the only option for people who are strong in math and science. There are all kinds of other programs offered by universities that will help you get a job in the energy industry. I would highly encourage students in high school to sit down with their parents and counselor to understand all of the different options!

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I'm big into sports. I also enjoy volunteering which is convenient because my company (Chevron) is heavily involved in the community so there are always lots of opportunities to volunteer (like this awesome program)!

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

Talk to younger people who've just graduated to get their opinion. Sit down with your parents and counselor to understand the programs that universities offer. Send me an email!

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

Let’s Talk Science is pleased to provide you with this information as you explore future career options. Many careers require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Even jobs that don’t use specific STEM concepts on a day-to-day basis benefit from the skills gained through a study of STEM. People with a STEM background are very much in demand by employers across all career sectors. If you would like to learn about more careers that have a STEM connection, visit

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