Sue Park

Sue Park has only been out of college for three years, but already she’s an operations engineer for Chevron overseeing 20 offshore wells and, in 2008, she was named a “Face of the Future,” by Fortune 500 Magazine—an honor given to only 48 young professionals across the U.S.

The 2007 petroleum engineering alumna is making a wave in her career field, but she wasn’t always so set on engineering.

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“I was more lost than the average high schooler and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. In junior high and once in high school we took a career test to see what we’d be good at and I was in even in all areas, so that didn’t help,” Park said.

In a serendipitous moment, the Houston-native printed out degree programs from three universities that she would attend if accepted: The University of Texas at Austin, University of Notre Dame and Rice University. She hung material about each degree program on her wall. Then she reached for a dart.

“I threw it and it landed on UT petroleum engineering and I had no idea what that was, but I thought, ‘Well, it’s as good as any other major because I don’t know what I want to do,’” Park said.

She enjoyed math and sciences and her dad has an engineering degree, so she decided to give it a try and see if the major was a fit. Clearly, it was.

Another note-worthy achievement for Sue has come with her continued dedication to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). While at UT, she was part of SPE’s chapter and served as president. Now a member of the Scholarship/Internship Committee for SPE’s Gulf Coast Section, Sue works diligently to increase curiosity in the petroleum industry among high school seniors and retain interest with current students.

The best way to describe Sue Park is as a go-getter. She is changing the world as an engineer and to that we say, “You go girl!”

Content for this article provided by Erica Schmidt, courtesy of UT Austin Women in Engineering Program