BHOS Alumni

Success stories

Mahammad Valiyev

Petroleum Engineering, 2018 graduate

- Why did you choose BHOS? Is there anything you would like to highlight regarding your experience at BHOS?

During my school years, specifically in 10th grade, I was considering opting for computer science as a major and study at some other university in Azerbaijan. However, at that time, I have heard people mentioning the establishment of a new university backed up by SOCAR. The promises made from the administration of the new university were very compelling: highly selective admission process with just around 100 students per year, dual-diploma program in cooperation with UK university, education in English, career opportunity in oil and gas sector, which was and is the dominant one in Azerbaijan. The urge was so strong that, I gave up on computer science and went for petroleum engineering at BHOS. If there is something particular to highlight about my experience at BHOS, that would be the truly talented, kind, cooperative, and just cool people, whom I have met at BHOS, very much enjoyed spending my time and still interact with.

- What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during your studies at  BHOS? How do you apply it in your daily life?

Being a newly established university, studying at BHOS had its unique challenges. Most of the things we did there were not set up and polished before us. Therefore, almost every year, we were facing some unique challenge, which we ought to necessarily manage to survive. Therefore, I would say, the most valuable lesson I have learned at BHOS, actually lessons, would be the independence, confidence, and ability to navigate successfully through the uncertainty. Well, every day in life, we face some challenges. The independence, confidence, and resilience that I have developed at BHOS come very handily in tackling those everyday challenges.

- Can you please tell us briefly about postgraduate study?

I loved BHOS so much that I did my MSc degree in Reservoir Evaluation & Management there as well. However, the question probably asks about my current education. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States. Here, I divide my time between taking some courses which are relevant to my degree and research and conducting the research as part of Ph.D. program. Concretely, my research is about 1) developing new workflows for reservoir model calibration using state-of-art machine learning techniques and 2) developing predictive models for hydraulic fracture design optimization for unconventional reservoirs.

- Do you feel that BHOS well prepared you for the position?

I think, no university and BHOS is no exception, can fully prepare you for any position, be it in industry or academia. Having said that, however, BHOS equipped me with a solid petroleum engineering background, soft skills and the ability to learn on my own, which turned out to be the most useful skill, one can get from a university education.

- Would you want to share any tips or advice with students interested in applying to BHOS?

Being a highly selective top-notch school in Azerbaijan, naturally, BHOS would want you to have very high entrance exam scores. Therefore, make sure you study as hard as you can, to get into BHOS. Although studying at BHOS is not straightforward, you will have time for fun at BHOS for sure, so push all your limits to get in. Additionally, make sure you have a good idea of every major offered at BHOS and select the most suitable one for you, based on your interests, strengths, and future career options. Good luck!