Real people, real jobs

Louisiana college graduates tell us about the work they do and how they got there.

By Erin Z. Bass


MARKETING PRODUCER 

Name: Amanda Carlin
Hometown: Big Branch, Louisianaa
High School: Homeschooled
College: Southeastern Louisiana University
Degree: B.A., Communication
Employer: WAFB Channel 9, Baton Rouge
Age: 21

What she does: 

“I work as a marketing producer in the Creative Services Department at WAFB. So, I write, direct, shoot and edit TV commercials for WAFB that promote different aspects of our station. My job is to drive people to our newscasts, website and app. When we have breaking news or a successful investigation, I create promos that run on the air to advertise the amazing story that’s coming up later in the week. It’s my job to show the public that we truly do care, and that they can trust us as a reliable source for local news.”

On education: 

“I’m so glad that I chose to go to Southeastern. The Communication Department as a whole really set me up for success, and all of the professors were so supportive and helpful the entire time. I lost count of the times that I ended up in someone’s office after hours, just trying to get through difficult papers and assignments. I was incredibly blessed to be able to work at the Southeastern Channel during my time in school. The staff taught me so much about shooting, editing, producing and what being in the media field is really about. Before working at the Southeastern Channel, I had never really held a video camera. It wasn’t always easy, and at times it was totally overwhelming, but under the Southeastern Channel’s guidance, I won several awards during my time at school, including an Emmy!”

On work:

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I started school. I was a physics major for two whole years before I realized I didn’t enjoy it. I was aimless for a bit and had no idea what I wanted to major in. Then I decided on communication, and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. Working in media is the most rewarding career I could have possibly imagined. I love that I have the ability to create new things every day and that WAFB gives me the support to fully flesh out any ideas I have.”


WELL INTERVENTION & COMPLETIONS ENGINEER 

Name: Nate Burkhalter
Hometown: Eunice, Louisiana
High School: Eunice High School
College: Louisiana Tech University
Degree: B.S, Mechanical Engineering, minor in Business Administration
Employer: ExxonMobil
Age: 32

What he does: 

“My job title basically means I am a project engineer that helps to complete, intervene in and repair oil and natural gas wells around the world. My day and week work requirements vary significantly. I usually spend about 70% of my time in a corporate office, with a lot of computer/desk work mixed in with meetings, phone calls and email communication. Every few months, I’ll have a technical training. When it becomes time to execute our project work, I’ll do more field support by flying out to our offshore platform or floating drill ship by helicopter. Those trips can last several days to several weeks.”

On education: 

“I loved my college experience! Aside from the classes and long study hours, I was involved in intramural sports, social events, church life and organizations, engineering societies, university sports, and tailgating. My favorite part of college was enjoying the social aspect. I grew and matured in many ways and learned to live outside of my parents’ oversight.”

On work: 

“I’m very hands on in my work and learning style, so choosing engineering allowed me to be able to work with and see lots of really cool technology, equipment and modern marvels. Working in the oil and gas industry was a foreign concept to me. Once I started learning about it during my later years of college, I got excited about the diversity, challenge and opportunities for growth and national/global travel.

“The oil and gas industry offers excellent pay and career opportunities. For me, it was the chance to work on large-scale ects,  

where I could make an impact. My first internship with ExxonMobil was in a New Orleans refinery. I enjoyed the hands on approach to work, but thought I would like the opportunity to travel the world with my job, so I requested to be transferred to the Upstream division. That led to a Houston-based assignment, where I was focused on oil and gas producing assets. After developing a skill set in my first few years, I was promoted to working a producing asset we had in California. I was eventually given an opportunity to work in West Africa, which I pursued in 2016. In 2017, I moved to Norway to work the North Sea production region.”


ASSISTANT BRANCH MANAGER 

Name: Maitlyn R. Keller
Hometown: New Orleans
High School: Academy of Our Lady
College: Delgado Community College
Degree: Associate Degree, Accounting  
Employer: Fifth District Savings Bank
Age: 22

What she does: 

“I am responsible for efficient, effective management of a full-service bank branch office, ensuring that established policies and procedures are followed. I am also responsible for assuming all management functions in the absence of the branch manager. I assist the branch manager to attain internal performance objectives for branch office business volume, deposits, loan portfolios and quality of audit reports. It is also my job to open and close the branch and provide and maintain a professional, business-like atmosphere within the office. That means I handle customer problems and complaints too.” 

On education: 

“My overall college experience was exceptional because of Delgado’s well known accounting program, teacher-to-student ratio, flexibility of classes and the convenient class location. During my two years at Delgado, the teachers always had an open door policy for their students, no matter the time or day. College is meant to be challenging, not difficult. I was challenged each semester with the variety of classes I had taken, which became a positive reminder of my student success.”

On work: 

“An accounting degree can guide you to many career opportunities outside of the accounting industry, such as management. Just because you major in accounting, that does not mean you have to become an accountant. This brings me to where I am today as the assistant branch manager of Fifth District Savings Bank. I chose this career because the banking industry has always been a passion of mine. Job stability, job security, and challenging and rewarding employment are all part of this career. I enjoy the fast-paced atmosphere, customer relations and the long-term career goals.”

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