By the time Maria graduated from Tyumen State University, Russia, with a graduate degree and a Major in software development, she knew that software development was not the path for her. Having gained some on-the-job experience, she had formed a clearer picture: “I wanted to be in control of my projects, to interact with people, and to see results quickly.”
When SLB posted a recruitment ad on the university dashboard, Maria was fascinated by what she saw: The ability to see the value of projects and to work with people while staying highly technical; a culture of safety and ethics; the prospect of traveling and working in other countries; the opportunity to work in various product lines; and—importantly—a clear career path.
Maria started in February 2011 as a Connectivity Engineer in Tyumen, steadily broadened her scope of responsibility, and today is Software Security Engineer with the corporate Industrial Internet Center in Sugar Land, Texas, USA.
“My job is exciting and visible. I work with multiple teams and best-in-class specialists in different areas of software, firmware, middleware, electrical and mechanical engineering.” On any given day, Maria finds herself designing a product or feature, learning about a new technology, or troubleshooting technical issues. She may present to customers, attend a technical conference or confer with vendors and start-ups, and she writes reports, technical papers and guidelines. “It’s exciting to do a proof of concept and put together a solution that no one has ever done before, using the latest technologies. Each day is different and never boring.”
One of her most memorable SLB experiences to date is a trip to Vankor oilfield in Russia’s far north, a “special adventure” involving a three-hour helicopter trip over endless taiga forest. “Two things fascinated me. First, tiny Ust-Kut city seemed to be frozen in the past. Broken roads, one little grocery store, people dressed in gray and black, no advertisements and posters, no neon or streetlights. A reflection of the past that Russians have already forgotten. Few people get to experience something like that.”
Secondly, the people. “I don’t think I’ve ever met people so kind, considerate and caring. No one talks so lovingly about their spouses and children as people who have to work in this cold, never ending night, far away from home.”
In the fast-moving information technology world, not all training is equally useful, says Maria, but the company is constantly trying new interactive ways of engagement, and management encourages and supports employees’ development. “As your level in the company grows, you can build an exciting training program with your mentor.” She’s received important professional certifications and has been able to consult with subject matter experts.
Maria says she’s seen true team leadership from her managers. “I admire their trust in the team members, their courage to listen to the team’s opinion, and their support for continuous development.”
Maria’s recent transfer to the USA was a much-appreciated career boost. “SLB provides the opportunity to completely change your job area while staying in the company. You can start almost anew, but you don’t have to spend time integrating into a new corporate culture. You learn more and more about parallel fields of work and make connections. This is truly a win-win situation.”