What's your job about?
I am currently responsible for rolling out an efficiency project in the Oil and Gas industry. Focusing on streamlining / automating the reporting system utilising data analytic techniques to provide live dashboards allowing data-based decision making. As part of this my role includes; working with the developers to build and modify the software and manage the costs of development, facilitate training for the 52 rig managers and tour pushes across the company and manipulate, manage and present the data on live dashboards. Essentially a combination of managing stakeholders and project expectations, business development and some field work.
What's your background?
I was born in South Africa and grew up internationally living in 6 different countries before I was 12, before finally settling down in Perth, Western Australia. Growing up I was fortunate to know that I wanted to be an engineer and enter the corporate world from year 10. So, I ‘followed my nose’ finished year 12 and enrolled in a double degree at UWA. Once I graduated, I moved to Sydney for my engineering role. The transition had been harder than I expected: Moving from living at home surrounded by family and friends, minimal expenses and university lifestyle to the largest city in Australia, expensive rent / associated costs and minimal social networks outside of work. While difficult, it was a great learning experience and arguably a rite of passage leading to open doors and a plethora of experiences.
My first graduate job was a field engineering position, unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. I had feared being a number in a large graduate program as I felt I wouldn’t have the growth opportunities that I would in a small intake. I had got what I wanted in my first role being the only graduate hired and I was given the full responsibility of an engineer with my manager often going away and leaving me in charge of NSW and ACT operations. However, business as usual had kicked in and my innovative nature was not capitalised on, I wanted a more challenging role, but I also needed guidance and growth opportunities; this position was not the right fit for me. I pursued other roles and eventually landed the graduate program with Broadspectrum which gave me new experiences and opened doors to work in a variety of locations, roles and teams across the country and allowed me to utilise both my marketing and engineering knowledge.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, while there are elements of understanding that are fundamental to the process of my role; essentially stakeholder management and work ethic underpin the success of the project I am undertaking. There are learning curves in a variety of areas but if you are willing to do the work and leverage the resources around you the barriers are quite easily overcome. I am numerically minded, so the data analytics side comes naturally, so I would highly recommend this role if ‘numbers are your friends’. People skills are also invaluable in my role, from negotiating with developers and training rig managers to putting forward business cases and managing wider team expectations.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The corporate environment and success of a project ultimately relies on the people around you, this is a fundamental aspect and something I really love about my job. Being a goal driven person, I enjoy exceeding targets and expectations especially when the task is particularly difficult or is perceived to be unachievable. Working in the gas field’s of Queensland has certainly been a great experience, flying out to work with the rig manager on site is definitely and assisting their development whilst increasing efficiency across the company is a very rewarding opportunity.
What are the limitations of your job?
Working for a multinational corporation, things move slower than expected, this can often be frustrating when it is a key aspect of your project. The perks of this come with the internal networks you can leverage and the vast resources available to make things happen when the time is right. There are often ‘hoops’ to jump through to get approval for things, however understanding these is the best way to overcome the issues around this. They often stop you from making rash decisions and evaluate the need for the request resource. With a strong business case these are not an issue.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
There is no substitute for hard work, so you can have results or regrets (lame but honestly too true), people are the crux of any business, don’t forget this and that R = (KA)^t (Results = (Knowledge x Action) ^ Time).