SPE and me ...
I learned about the SPE eMentoring Program at the time I began as a volunteer for the Student Chapter of my university. I have had two mentors; both have been amazing.
I have always wanted to meet people from all over the world, so this was a good opportunity. My main intention was to learn about procedures, operations, challenges, and work experiences from my mentors. Now, my mentors have become my friends, and they still give me advice and are sources where I can look for information.
Both mentee and mentor have to agree on the communication path and the frequency. In my case, I have Skype sessions once a month with one mentor, and I email at least twice a month with the other one.
Respect is the best way to establish a good relationship with a mentor. Every time I talk with my mentor, we always say or write something about principles and morals. These are things that are easy to lose nowadays and even more in a billionaire industry.
It is essential for mentees to look for a mentor in the area you are interested. The oil industry has so many areas to work and learn, always choose what you like most. Another consideration must be the language. If you do not feel confident to talk in another that is not your native language, choose a mentor who speaks your native language. Being respectful is the basis for everything in life.
Universidad Central Del Ecuador Student Chapter. I have work experience in the energy industry. I have developed jobs in production engineering and gas hydrates research. In production engineering, I have worked in well production systems and surface facilities design. I also have good knowledge in well testing, log interpretation and reservoir waterflooding. In gas hydrates research, I worked as an intern at the Carbon & Energy Systems Laboratory at Gwanju Institute of Science and Technology in Korea where I learned about CO2 capture and storage to mitigate environmental impact and produce methane from clathrates. I took this opportunity to enhance my knowledge and explore other work fields in the energy industry."
Jorge Luis Proaño Suárez, Petroleum Engineering Student
I joined the eMentoring program to share my experiences with fellow young professionals on the kind of attitude required in working outside of their comfort zones, and being able to get work done safely and efficiently. Since we're from the same generation, we will all have faced similar issues and problems and can learn from each other along the way.
After building an initial rapport, my mentees and I agreed to communicate via email once a week. I believe that good mentoring requires two-way communication. It’s very easy to succumb to a one-directional question (from mentee) and answer (by mentor) mode, but it is incumbent upon the mentor to get to know their mentee’s background and goals. This will lay the foundation for providing the right advice and guidance.
One of my mentees was undecided if he should immediately enroll for a Master’s degree upon completing his Bachelor’s or gain some working experience first. I shared my own experience and motivations for pursuing a Master’s degree only after several years of working in the oil industry. The work experience enabled me to determine my area of interest and thus the subject matter on which I wanted to focus my thesis research on. I also provided specific examples relating to production engineering where theoretical knowledge has to be supplemented by continuous on-the-job learning and training in order to increase marketability and therefore expedite career progression. This helped my mentee determine his future plans upon completing his Bachelor’s degree.
Another one of my mentees was looking to apply for jobs overseas due to geopolitical conflicts in her home country. She was apprehensive about starting anew in another country where she had no contacts and had to establish her network of professional contacts from scratch. I shared my own experiences of starting fresh in a new country (The Netherlands).
My advice to other potential mentors is to always tailor your mentoring to meet your mentee’s goals. For many mentees (especially students), you, as a mentor, may be their main portal into the world of professional petroleum engineers. Be prepared to share your experiences, achievements and hardships with them. And lastly, always provide specific examples – nobody likes vague advice!
I managed to share my own experiences and inspire some young future Petroleum Engineers. I was also able to view things from their points of view, and that will help me become a better manager in the future.
Experience: Production Technologist – PETRONAS, Malaysia (May 2010 – August 2014)
Production Engineer – Dana Petroleum, Netherlands (September 2014 – present)
Background: Bachelor in Petroleum Engineering, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
MSc in Petroleum Production Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland
Petroleum Production Engineer, Dana Petroleum Netherlands.
While looking for different ways to get the most of my SPE membership, I discovered the SPE eMentoring Program on the SPE website. As a young professional, I was able to enroll and participate in the program as a mentor and mentee. Having a mentor is always a great way to get other points of view of the industry! Mentors provide feedback that helps young members reach their professional goals. I had great mentors along my career, therefore, it’s time to give back all those advices by sharing my knowledge and career advice to university students.
I encourage potential mentees to be as curious as possible, be persistent if your mentors do not respond as quickly as you wish, and try to reach mentors that share common interest or have a career path that you would like to pursue in the future.
The most successful connections are when both sides are willing to listen to each other and are open to new ideas and share common interests. I communicate more often with my mentees, normally once a week. However, with my mentor it was once a month. The communication depends on both sides, and it changes depending on the circumstances, interests and specific situations.
My advice to potential mentors is to support the next generation, it’s a matter of quality of time and not quantity. Being an SPE Mentor is a great way to motivate others to achieve their goals while transferring your experience and knowledge for the benefit of the industry. Particularly, Emiliano (my mentee) is really proactive and we shared a lot of common interests. It was great to be his mentor and his friend now! I really enjoyed my conversations and talking with Juan (my mentor); he provided me with meaningful advice for career development which focused on my interest and skills.
A Geoscientist with more than 9 years of experience in the oil & gas industry. He joined Chevron in 2008, where he has held different positions at the exploration and development divisions in Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago. He is currently a Development Geologist in Chevron based out in Venezuela, and working in the Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt, the biggest reserve of heavy oil in the world. As an active SPE member, he is the SPE Eastern Venezuela Section Chairperson, with strong focus in the SPE eMentoring program and Ambassador Lecturer Program. He has been awarded with the SPE Outstanding Young Member Award for the South America and Caribbean Region in 2017. He holds a MSc in Earth Sciences from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and BS in Geochemistry (Magna Cum Laude) and BS in Geological Engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela. Luis also obtained the AVAA Proexcelencia fellowship sponsored by the USA Embassy in Venezuela, as part of their educational programs and support to the Asociacion Venezolana Americana de la Amistad (AVAA)
Luis Enrique Valencia, Development Geologist
My motivation as a mentor is to give back to others joining this great and fascinating industry. I had some very good mentors in my time and I would like to share career and development advice with others.
Fabio and I would be in touch once and sometimes twice a month either through email or meeting in person for a coffee.
A good connection for me was the personal fit between Fabio and I. I enjoyed learning from Fabio new things about what he was focused on in his studies and his cultural heritage. We both enjoyed learning from each other.
Fabio and I spoke about how the university was a good opportunity to learn broadly about a range of topics that relate to Petroleum Engineering. Specifically, we spoke about the importance of understanding how commercial and economic factors influence ultimately corporate decision making. That struck a chord with Fabio and he took some time out to attend a Petroleum Economics class in his school.
My advice to potential mentors is to be open to make new connections, learn new things from your mentee and find common ground. It helps if you can meet face to face or use modern technology to establish a relationship.
By being a mentor I learned about Fabio’s subject and his background. Fabio also shared some of his perspectives on corporate culture and sustainable development. I always find that there is something to learn from each other.
Advisian, Senior Associate, 20 years in Production Engineering, Project Management, Front End Development and Consulting, Masters in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and MBA from Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon in PittsburghKai C. Eberspaecher, Senior Associate
The main reason I joined the SPE eMentoring program and requested a mentor is to guide me and give me some advices on how to make the transition from the PhD back to the industry. Even though academia is a very interesting and important field for the oil and gas industry, I don't see myself working in this area long term. My goal is to further develop my skills, as well as help to create a stronger and more competitive industry. I'm passionate about the energy sector and to work in a company that gives me the opportunity to grow is my ultimate goal.
Kai Eberspaecher (my mentor) and I caught up over a coffee many times during the time of the eMentoring Program. All the communication was done mostly in person, but also via email. A good mentoring connection, from my perspective, is achieved when both sides are willing to share experiences and, together, ready to set goals and more importantly put into practice the advices and suggestions received.
My mentor suggested, in conjunction to my PhD project, to learn about something other than reservoir engineering, such as economics, to expand my understanding of the entire oil and gas business. I took his advice and attended a petroleum economics course at the university, which was a major step towards comprehending the decision making process and how my technical knowledge is useful in any oil and gas project evaluation.
My advice to other mentees is to choose your mentor based on your career goals and more importantly someone who shares the same professional interests.
I found the eMentoring program extremely important for me. It was my first time using this tool, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Coincidentally, Kai and I live in the same city. I did not know this when I chose him. We discussed the industry in general, my goals and shared professional experiences. It was great and Kai gave me valuable advices and I’m very happy with the outcome. I strongly recommend the SPE eMentoring program to all young professionals and university students.
The University of Queensland. PhD Candidate. Prior to starting my PhD studies in reservoir engineering, I worked as a process engineer on major greenfield projects within the oil and gas, chemical and mining industries.
Fabio Terzini, PHD Student