Interviewing – for my former ITNHGE Students

Working Hard

Hi guys! I hope all is well in E.G. This post is just for you! As some of you may already know, a large drilling company reached out to me because he saw these posts regarding you guys. His company will be starting work in EG soon and he is in need of some great employees and you guys are the best! So, if Angel de Jesus has not given you the specifics, email me and I’ll help you out. In the meantime, if you get called for an interview, here are a few tips. I know we covered some of this in school, but just in case you forgot, here it is.

  1. Do your research on the company that you are interviewing with. Find out what they do and where the company head-quarters are. You should be able to find some facts about them that will help you have a much better interview, and they will like the fact that you know something about them. Write a few things down on paper and refer back to it if you do an interview.
  2. Don’t appear desperate! I know that some of you are very desparte to get a good job, but don’t tell them during the interview that you would do ANYTHING to work for them. Just tell them that this sounds like a great opportunity and you would love to help them accomplish their goals in EG.
  3. If they want to do a telephone interview first, make sure that you do this where it is quite. You don’t want people yelling in the background, dogs barking and babies crying. Also, get a pen and paper and take notes. Always keep a pen or pencil and paper close by. Smile when you are talking, you can hear that in your voice. Also, use your best manners and sound professional.
  4. If you get a face to face interview – show up 10 minutes early! If your interview is in Malabo and you live in Bata, fly in at least 3 hours early. That way if the plane is late, you won’t be late to your interview. Give yourself plenty of time!
  5. Shake their hand with a firm hand shake and look them in the eye.

That’s it for now. If you need anything else, let me know. GOOD LUCK!!!

Time to get a J-O-B. Brant Butler HSEQ!

Ok guys, it’s time for me to get a new job.  I need all the help I can get.  HSE related, don’t care where it is as long as it’s close to good schools and the place is safe.  If it’s rotational, I would like to stay close to a 28/28.  I don’t want to be gone 9 months a year like my Africa job.

I’ve worked in the Middle East, U.S. and Africa.  I have worked on many global projects.

I have my BS in Environmental Management (with a concentration in Occupational Safety) and I just got my MBA Organizational Leadership.

I have my OHST, CES and I’m a member of the Board of Certified of Safety Professionals.  Also, I’m a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

I also have done numerous ISO, OSHA, PSM, SEMS audits.  Technical writing, training and competency and built entire HSE Management Systems.  I’ve done consulting with many of the larger oil and gas companies in the U.S.

I’ve managed many and few and love mentoring.

I have my resume on / /

Here are a few projects I’ve worked on: Transocean Global HSE Management System, Transocean North American (NAM) Corrective Actions post Deepwater Horizon Audit, Hess SEMS for Gulf of Mexico, ENI Asset Risk Registers & SEMS, Nalco-Champion Integrated HSE Management System (IMS), ExxonMobil Quality & HSE Plan, Noble LNG Technical College Training Program (Ruppin College)


Tough day in Equatorial Guinea with the ITNHGE program

Today just started and it has been the toughest day of my professional career.  We had a student in our program get caught cheating, twice, on the same test.  On numerous occasions I have talked with each class and told them what would happen if anyone gets caught cheating.  The project manager and company rep from the states also talked to the students.  The teachers talked to the students and those that were suspected were placed on final warning.  They acknowledged what would happen if they broke our rules, signed the paper stating they knew what would happen and within a few weeks of them signing, one of the students broke the rules and cheated twice on the same test.

I know this program can make the difference in a young adults life and in a country where relatively few options exist this program is vital.

I had to expel the student, a good kid other than his cheating problem.  I tried to come up with a punishment that would allow me to keep him while maintaining the integrity of the program.  I lost sleep over it and now it is finally over.  I have had to let people go from other jobs before but this one hurt the most.  I’ve been laid off before, I know what this young man is going through.  I think that makes it worse.  Not a good day.

Sunset - No Filter Needed - Equatorial Guinea
Sunset – No Filter Needed – Equatorial Guinea

U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea at ITNHGE school

U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea
U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea

So the other day I had the pleasure of giving a tour of our school to the U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, Julie Furuta-Toy (in white).  Matthew Lamm is the public affairs guy sharply dressed but probably burning up in that jacket.  Julie Beberman is the Gov’t Affairs and Economic officer that had a lot of questions for us.  In the back row is one of our technical teachers on the right, Randy, and one of my supervisors on the left, Alan.  The tour went well, it was my first tour given to an ambassador.  US Embassy in EG

With the ITNHGE school winding down because the EG government wants to open up there own school eventually, our last graduating class will be December of next year.  We’ve turned out over 500 bilingual trainees from our program that has morphed over the years to become a highly respected 3 year training program the first of it’s kind in sub-Saharan Africa.  We used to have over 1200 applicants for only 50 spots per year.  In the beginning we had people trying to “buy” their way in, but when it was realized that we don’t operate that way, it legitimized the program in the eyes of the people, giving every Guinean equal footing regardless of status or family connections.

Thanks to excellent teachers and students for making this possible!  Fun times!!!!

Multinational Management

Some days, managing people from 10 or so different countries get’s to you.  Especially when you’re an ocean away from your family for so long.  Wood Group is pretty good to me, but always trying to be aware of other cultures viewpoints and taking into account their worldview becomes a struggle at times.  On the plus side, the rewards when you can keep that many people from all different corners of the world working together is quite satisfying.

Carry on……

By the way, here is the sunset from yesterday….not bad huh?

West African Sunset
West African Sunset

ITNHGE Advanced English Class – EG – Africa

In the 2nd year of the ITNHGE program in Equatorial Guinea, the students are in Advanced English, Math and Science.  Almost every one of these kids (I say kids, but most are in their 20’s), had 0 English skills when they joined the program.  The first year is a really intensive English program.  I went into the Year 2 classroom the other day, and the students were giving group presentations in English and the topic was English.  These kids were talking about participle’s, past tense, future tense, all things I have not thought of in many years.  What’s more amazing, when the teacher asked which group volunteered to be first, half of the groups raised their hand immediately.  I was quite impressed.  They even worked on their transitions between members of the groups.  It is an interesting dynamic, we have teachers and other employees from all over the world (Australia, Ireland, US, UK, Philippines, Eastern Europe and Nationals).  All these people have different cultural norms, ways they communicate and ways they interpret.  In the beginning it helps to have a bit of cultural training that way the lines of communication won’t become a jumbled mess.  With the ITNHGE program, I think we got it right.  But that is because we have students that want to be here and want to learn and teachers that feel the same.  Here are some pics of the day!

Advanced English Presentation


Advanced English Presentation
Advanced English Presentation