Summer 2012 Site Review
Position: Trading Intern
Student: International Relations & Global Studies Junior
Petrobras America Inc (PAI) is a private branch of state-owned Brazilian energy company Petrobras. Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petrobras is famous for its breakthrough technology in offshore oil exploration. It has international offices across the globe, such as PAI in Houston, Petrobras Global Trading in the Nederlands and Petrobras Europe Limited in London. My internship is at the Houston office, in the Trading department.
I get to work every morning and go straight to my desk, situated right in front of the door and between a derivatives trader, a vessel operator and the manager’s secretary. The Trading department is secluded from the rest of the company, separated by a glass door that only the people that work in Trading have the access to. The environment inside the doors is definitely unlike it is in the rest of the company. There are no cubicles or rooms but only four closed offices, for the four managers. The rest of the department works in a spacious room, with tables side by side and no separation between them. Therefore, the work environment is very lively and sometimes loud. People are always talking to each other or on the phone. I find this ambiance determinant of my entire internship experience, since it was easy to talk to everyone and get to know them and their job.
After I am settled at my desk, I check the names of the people I have to talk to, what I have to ask them and at what time. I often have to keep reminding my co-workers that I need their help, since they are always busy with work-related activities. However, when I talk to them, any of them, I always have their full attention – and usually get to learn a lot. After talking to them and figuring out what I have to do, I go back to my table and start updating the workflows and the processes related to them. Fortunately, the derivatives trader is always eager to teach me about hedging when she’s free, so I get a lesson almost every week.