Intern-To-Intern 2015: Jesstin Patterson

The fifth in a series. Communications intern Kally Greene-Gudmundson interviews our 2015 summer interns.


Meet Jesstin Patterson: Intern for the document for operations team within NANA WorleyParsons this summer.

What is your Iñupiaq name? Who were you named after?

My Iñupiaq name is Qapuk. I was named after my grandmother, Maryanne Mendenhall. I think I was told at one point what it meant, but I don’t remember.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I'm from Kotzebue, where I lived until I was seven. Then I moved to Barrow, where I continue to live when I’m not in school.

What are your family ties to NANA?

I am a descendant, born in the region. My mother, Dolly Patterson (Mendenhall) and my aana (grandmother) are both shareholders.

Who has inspired you? What is your favorite memory of this person?

My taata (grandfather), Collins Mendenhall. He taught me to hunt and to respect nature which was further enforced and fine-tuned by my father, Richard Patterson. My favorite memory of my grandfather was the first time he took me ugruk hunting. I was about four or five years old. He let me shoot, but the splash hit right above the ugruk. I remember the boat was rocking pretty hard and I got seasick. I think that’s why I missed, but I was also really excited because my taata let me shoot. My aana and taata rarely missed, and we had a successful seal hunt.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I’d have to say, the fact that I’m the president of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). This past year, at the national level, we won the Professional and Chapter Development Award, Recruitment and Retention Award, and the AISES Stelvio J. Zanin Distinguished Chapter of the Year Award, which was the sixth time in the past 20 years that we received this recognition. It’s something I’m really proud to be a part of. I was also recently highlighted in the “Inspiring Stories” website at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Where are you going to school?

I attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

What are you studying?

I study petroleum engineering, which can be divided into three disciplines: reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, and production engineering. Reservoir engineers perform the simulations and calculations to determine the size and content of the oil reservoir. Drilling engineers drill the hole in the ground. And production engineers design the systems that separate what comes out of the ground. Each discipline contains the same goal of extracting oil out of the ground in an economical yet safe fashion.  

What year of school will you be coming into this fall?

This is my final year. I’ll be graduating in the spring of 2016. It’s been a long journey; I never thought I’d ever get to experience this level of accomplishment and excitement!

What was your first experience with (or memory of) NANA?

I interned with WHPacific in 2011, where I worked within the gas fields of Barrow. I was tasked with researching and generating a preventative maintenance checklist for equipment used in the gas field. I also had the job of organizing and indexing the gas field library.

Have you interned with NANA before and, if so, what was your position?

After my internship with WHPacific, I interned with NANA WorleyParsons in 2012. At the time, I worked with the Process Engineering team cross referencing a database consisting of pressure safety valves for piping systems in the North Slope. I was to ensure the documentation for tests on specific pressure safety valves was correct and correctly cataloged in the database.  

Who introduced the idea to work for NANA to you?

I was encouraged by my mother. I knew about NANA as I was growing up, so working for a NANA company has always been something in the back of my mind.

What are your job responsibilities this summer?

I’m working with the Document for Operations team within NANA Worley Parsons surrounding a project on the North Slope. I am currently assisting with creating a database of test reports for welds and equipment that will be installed in a specific oil field on the Slope. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with project engineers searching through piping and instrumentation diagrams identifying equipment needed to perform leak tests on specific piping systems for the Slope.  

What do you hope to accomplish through your internship?

My goals include learning as much as I can and performing well enough to be offered a position after I graduate. I believe that companies value on-the-job experience, as well as education. The two go hand-in-hand. 

“NANA will improve the quality of life for our people”

NANA internships give students the opportunity to:

  • Gain valuable applied experience.
  • Promote personal development.
  • Develop interpersonal and professional skills.

For more information visit the shareholder employment & development page.