Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas Railroad Commission

Fall 2018

Position: Surface Mining & Reclamation Division Intern
Student: Geography Senior

A day in the life for an intern at the Railroad Commission of Texas involves critical thinking, hard work, and a great attitude. The Surface Mining and Reclamation Division specializes in regulatory and revisionary assessments for mines across Texas, a highly lucrative industry. No daily routine at the office is the same; rather tasks are assigned given what is most needed on any given day. In particular, my internship experience was well rounded, covering most aspects of office duties and providing assistance in a variety of ways. Shadowing engineering specialists is a large portion of the internship, which entails listening to there professional analysis and providing sound feedback. A typical day starts by reporting to my supervisor, where we cover current and future projects. Afterwards, I report to my cubical to begin my assigned work. Projects can range from hydrological analysis, infrastructure analysis, bond calculations, permit review, and more. Skills in AutoCAD, GIS, Google Earth, and watershed modeling software are required, but staff is more than willing to assist. I’ve found that attention to detail and asking questions is the best way to learn the environment at the surface mining division, as the process is unique from most other agencies.  Like any new job, a positive attitude goes a long way for yourself and others around you. Internships are crucial to career development and post-college success.  I would highly recommend an internship at the railroad commission, not only because of the friendly environment and interesting work, but also because of the skills you pick up and the passions that you develop for a future career.

Spring 2017  

Position: Intern
Student: Government Junior 

I am an intern with the Railroad Commission of Texas in the Oil and Gas Division’s Production Department. We are situated on the eleventh floor of the William B. Travis building on the north end of the Capitol complex. I complete a variety of office tasks and facilitate coordination between the departments on my floor. My role is similar to that of the position of Administrative Assistant within the department, as we both carry out simple tasks and facilitate coordination.

My day begins as soon as I enter the office. Often I walk in and the daily mail is there ready for me to sort and categorize. I divide the mail, which mostly consist of T-1 Forms that detail the monthly oil and gas production from every company extracting and transporting the fuels in the state of Texas. I remove the Page 2’s from the reports and count how many different wells are reporting changes in production. These separated forms are then batched by district, of which there are 13, and sent to their respective departments for further processing. The batches return where we put the forms back together for record keeping. After all the forms are whole again, I scan the forms into the digital database.

Besides primarily handling T-1 Forms, I also manage separate Production Reports, which are essentially T-1’s without extensive detail, and P-18 Forms, which details how much oil and water was received and skimmed for each lease. In addition, I was tasked this semester with digitizing the monthly production from each company reporting to the Commission for the last five years. This has consisted of transcribing the reported production from note cards to an Excel spreadsheet. Pound for pound, the Excel spreadsheet is the most time-consuming portion of my day because it consists of solely hardcoding.

My only daily requirement is that I handle and sort the mail, which can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on how much mail there is. The rest of my day consists of either scanning forms for records, assisting in the additional form sorting, and/or working on my Excel spreadsheet, in addition to every state employee’s mandated fifteen minute break.


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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508