Amanda Baldwin figured her education would help her land a job after she graduated from the University of Oklahoma in December 2009 with degrees in physics and math.
But future employer Chesapeake Energy Corp. seemed just as interested in her military experience. The Indiana native spent seven years in the U.S. Air Force before going back to school full-time.
“I wasn't aware that the company was hiring veterans when I dropped my resume off, but during my interviews my military experience was discussed,” she said. “I was asked about my military background and how it could be applied at Chesapeake.”
Baldwin said her job as a reservoir engineering technician mixes the technical skills she honed in the Air Force with her scientific knowledge she gained in college.
“It was a good fit for me because of that,” she said.
Chesapeake has hired more than 600 veterans this year as the company formalized its commitment to adding more people with military experience to its work force. The company has more than 1,200 veterans and active-duty military personnel on its payroll.
“Chesapeake is an American company that is a top producer of American oil and natural gas. Creating American jobs and hiring veterans to work in our oil and gas fields and in our offices has become central to our recruiting strategy,” said Martha Burger, Chesapeake's senior vice president of human and corporate resources. “Veterans perform well in our industry and share our company's commitment to energy independence.
“We hope to honor their talent, experience and military service with rewarding careers, while easing their transition to civilian life.”
Chesapeake has a team of recruiters for its military hiring initiative. They travel the country to connect with veterans at military bases, job fairs and state employment agencies.
Aegeda Riggins, Chesapeake's recruiting supervisor, said veterans can apply for any of the open jobs at the company, which typically is looking to fill positions from rig workers to engineers and geologists.
Riggins said many of the veterans who are drawn to the oil and gas industry are interested in helping the United States achieve energy independence, based on their experiences overseas.
“I think that's why this initiative has grown tremendously,” she said.
Riggins said each of the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company's affiliate has a distinct personality, so Chesapeake recruiters strive to match each prospective employee with the one that suits them best.