Maersk talents inspire students: Julie Nielsen

Julie Nielsen loves the challenge of learning new things each day, living abroad and working in a dynamic environment as a Petrophysicist in Maersk International Technology and Science Programme (MITAS).

Maersk talents: Julie Nielsen
Julie Nielsen, 28 years old, MSc in Geological and Earth Science, the University of Copenhagen 2012.

Article published courtesy of

This portrait was originally published in the career guide, an annual publication that is being distributed to graduate students in universities in Denmark and southern Sweden. The portrait is republished on courtesy of

The author of the portrait, Daniel Bird, is employed by Move on Communications.

Earning the stripes

Camilla Westergaard wants to be a Captain like her father. She is one of more than three-thousand cadets learning the theory and practical skills for work on Maersk vessels.

When Julie applied to Maersk MITAS graduate program, she was looking for a career that would test her comfort zone.

“I wondered whether I was ready for the challenge at Maersk but this is one of the reasons I wanted the job. The times I’ve done something that felt scary were the times when I have evolved the most.”

With a great interest in geophysics and sedimentology, Julie knew that Maersk was the obvious fit for her. She had not anticipated spending the majority of her time working in petrophysics.

“There is a shortage of petrophysicists because there isn’t an education or even courses available for it in Denmark. In comparison to what I am used to there is a lot of physics involved but my background in geology really helps a lot.”

Julie explains that she is very happy to have moved into this area. The work is more detailed than geophysics and on a much smaller scale but that suits the way Julie likes to work.

“I’ve become more and more interested in petrophysics and I’ve decided to do all my rotations in that area. That is one of the really great things about the Maersk International Technology and Science program: that you can take it in different directions.”

The MITAS graduate program lasts two years and is made up of three rotations, one of which is completed abroad in either the UK, USA, Norway, Doha, Brazil or Kazakhstan. 

The responsibilities of a Petrophysicist

Currently based in Scotland, Julie works in an exploration department planning new wells.

“A typical day is pretty hard to describe because my work is so varied. I have periods of time where I do fairly academic work, doing petrophysical evaluations of older wells. There are a lot of safety assessments that need to be done when planning a well and when we start drilling there are a lot of tests that need to be run.”

Julie is very happy she chose Maersk.

“I can’t imagine getting a position anywhere else that I would prefer. Maersk is a really nice place to work. I’m learning a lot and I have a lot of responsibility but with a safety net and support from my managers.”

Link to the original version of the portrait

The interview is also published on the Danish recruitment site

Earning the stripes

Camilla Westergaard wants to be a Captain like her father. She is one of more than three-thousand cadets learning the theory and practical skills for work on Maersk vessels.

Life on an oil rig

Julie has spent time offshore on an oil rig and explains that it was really useful to see Maersk’s work from another perspective. It was an intense experience because there is a lot of work to do when starting drilling.

“Most of the time I have standard working hours but there are times I have to be more flexible. Those periods are really interesting though.”

Working in a traditionally male industry, Julie has not noticed a difference in the way she is treated.

“I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t taken me seriously because I am a woman. Still, it is good to see that more women are entering this industry.”

In the future Julie has a choice whether she would like to continue working in Exploration or move into a development team.

“I see myself in a development team. In Exploration, there is a lot of uncertainty whereas in development you usually know where you are going to find oil. Exploration can be more academic and development more of a high speed environment.”