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By Dustin Monke The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK—Chad Schoch thought he’d work in the North Dakota oilfields for two years, at most.
He wanted to roughneck, make and save money, pay off his bills, and then be out by the time he was 30.
Six years later, the 34-year-old New England man is one of the state’s two Bakken U scholarship recipients and is slowly building a career as a petroleum industry professional.
“I’m in school mode right now,” Schoch said.
Schoch, a process plant technology student at Bismarck State College, was awarded one of this year’s two $5,000 Bakken U scholarships Tuesday by the North Dakota University System and the NDUS Foundation.
“I typed up a letter, an essay, and sent it in,” Schoch said. “I’d honestly forgot all about it until I got the phone call.”
Schoch is a health and environmental safety coordinator for Whiting Petroleum Corp. in Dickinson and said his boss convinced him to go back to school to finish up his bachelor’s degree. He graduated with a broadcast communications degree from Minot State University and then turned his sights on the oil industry.