Career Profile: Gare
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
“My career to date has been quite varied and I have held a range of positions in various parts of the world. I first worked as a trainee field engineer in Mexico and Venezuela. Then a “short-term” assignment as a well engineer in Villahermosa actually became a 4-year post. It was such an exciting role and full of challenges. In 2011, I was posted to Rio and had the best 2 years of my life working as a well engineer. I would definitely have stayed longer here but was offered a job as a shadow project manager in Australia, which I couldn’t refuse. I spent the next 1.5 years there. After that, I was team leader in the business development commercial team in Buenos Aires for 5 months. Then I moved to Mexico City as technical leader in the Project Evaluation Team where I spent a further 6 months before returning to Villahermosa at the beginning of 2016.”
What attracted you to Schlumberger, and why did you decide to join us?
“A friend told me about Schlumberger and after a visit to a careers fair where I found out more I was convinced it was the right company for me—there was the possibility I could travel and the opportunities for me to develop myself and my career here seemed limitless.”
What do you enjoy most about working for Schlumberger?
“I think the multicultural environment is definitely one of the best aspects. Meeting and working with people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds, etc. gives you a new perspective and makes you think differently. And I believe, in the long-term, it really helps you learn better ways of dealing with what life brings you.”
What is the training like at Schlumberger?
“Thorough. It has to be. Part of my training involved being a member of the rig crew. I spent 4 months learning what every member of the crew does and doing it for myself. I loved the hands on training though—it was really the best part for me. It’s exciting—you get to prove yourself. And as one of the only women on the rig, this was important.”
What opportunities are there for you to progress in your career?
“There are so many opportunities here. But you have to work hard and show commitment. It’s really up to you. It’s how you choose to put yourself out there. No one is going to do that for you. And of course it’s competitive. I remember asking a manager why I didn’t get an A in an assignment. He told me I needed to work harder, to dedicate myself more to the work. That was all the encouragement I needed. I wanted that excellent rating!”
What types of challenges do you face in your job?
“During my training I had to complete a project for my Level 11 Control certification, which involved implementing a fluid system in a client’s well. It took me 8 months of preparation and I received fantastic mentoring throughout. To go from not knowing anything about drilling to seeing my system implemented at the wellsite was an amazing feeling. Presenting my project to the client and Schlumberger was also a huge achievement. I then went on to become a finalist in the Drilling Group Symposium—an event where Schlumberger employees around the world are invited to present their work to a panel of judges. Winners are assessed on the technical depth, business relevance, and innovation of their project.
My current position can be stressful and as a manager I must not pass all that pressure on to my team. But at the same time, I need to keep them motivated and ensure they are all performing to the best of their abilities. I’m naturally quite a strong character, I’m friendly, optimistic, honest and approachable. As a manager, I have to maintain that level of composure no matter how I wake up feeling because anything less would be letting my team down.”
What is the working environment like?
“Obviously, it can depend on where you are in the world and who you are working with. But in my experience it’s incredibly rewarding. All your hard work and commitment is worthwhile. You grow as a person. I think it can be tough at first because, especially out in the field, you have to work really hard to fit in. And you have to be a bit tough, and that might not be for everyone.
For me, personally, being a woman in a male-dominated environment has always been pretty exciting. I have faced some gender-related challenges but those experiences have made me who I am today. And I believe that women need to help each other. I see it as part of my role to make the workplace better for the women who will be in these types of roles in the future.”
Think back to when you first started…what will you never forget?
“I think there are two occasions that really stand out for me. Being on a rig for the first time was a very emotional moment. And then to realise we were drilling a hole in the earth—it literally blew my mind. At one point during my training I got to go up to the top of a rig to complete a task. It was 30-m high and I can remember feeling both terrified and exhilarated!
The second was a wellsite supervisor who was really tough with me, but taught me so much about learning to work with different types of people, fitting in and proving myself. We are still in touch today. He’s like my dad! And we laugh about his approach. But it worked. I did grow professionally and emotionally.”