Career Profile: Iris
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
“In 2005, I joined Schlumberger in Supply Chain as Procurement Manager for Mexico and Central America. This has been one of the most challenging positions I’ve ever had, as this was my first experience of line-management. Then I became Chemical Category Leader for Well Services in Latin America.
I’ve also had various roles in Supply Chain; first, as Global Supplier Manager for manufactured equipment, then as a Global Supplier Manager for chemicals. In 2014, I graduated from the IESE Business School with my MBA, changed functions to Sales and Marketing, and I am currently Global eCommerce Analyst.”
What attracted you to Schlumberger, and why did you decide to join us?
“When I was interviewing with the Schlumberger President of Mexico and Central America, he explained that his goal was to develop people in the regions where Schlumberger works and operates. For Mexico, he especially wanted to ensure women were represented, especially in leadership roles.”
Can you describe a typical day for you?
“When I get to the office, I work on the action items I wrote the evening before. On a good day, I am able to finish the list before the end of the day, but you know how something always comes up last minute, so I’ve learnt to adapt. This could include going off-site to visit a client, following-up with them over the phone and keeping our account managers up to date.”
Why is gender balance in the company important to you?
“I grew up with two brothers and became the first woman engineer in my family. While growing up, it wasn’t common for women to go to University. Pursuing my higher education and career has helped me reach new highs that I never thought possible before.
Currently in Schlumberger I am a leader in the Connect Women community, which has over 3,500 members worldwide. Because of my personal experience and challenges trying to obtain an engineering degree and a career, it is important to me to help other women succeed professionally.”
What is your experience of diversity in Schlumberger?
“I am fortunate to have colleagues from all over the world. Working for Schlumberger is a 24/7 multicultural experience. I have made many friends from different nationalities and they are now working in Russia, Dubai, Malaysia, Latin America and Europe. I now speak three languages and I continue to visit new countries for work and leisure every year.”
What do you enjoy most about working for Schlumberger?
“The people. I can learn and connect globally with diverse individuals of different backgrounds, interests, cultures, and nationalities. Connecting with people is the most rewarding part of my career.”
What types of challenges do you face in your job?
“We manage a large amount of client information and client requests. Staying on top of it to be able to diligently respond to clients in a timely fashion is one of the toughest challenges. Right behind that would be managing client expectations. You need to be able to be realistic about what you can achieve and in what timeframe, and even sometimes be able to say no—nicely—to a client request.”
What is the working environment like?
“One of the most diverse and engaging I have seen in my life. The quality of people here is unparalleled in the industry. When I have the opportunity to talk to suppliers and clients, they often both mention that they believe Schlumberger people are some of the most interesting they work with—a Schlumberger employee is likely to have been exposed to very diverse work environments, may have lived in more than one country and speak more than one language.”
Think back to when you first started…what surprised you the most?
“That I could talk and connect with anyone in our organization. Our internal online corporate directory contains the contact details of everyone in the company—any VP, President, even the CEO. I was impressed with the organization’s openness. I also find it interesting that you are able to see personal facts about everyone. Before calling someone in Schlumberger I always check their LDAP and that helps me understand who they are before we talk.”
What advice would you give to someone considering a career at Schlumberger?
“Be very open for change. People move jobs a lot so you often have to adapt to new team members and managers very fast. Because of this fast-paced environment you have plenty of opportunities to learn and to visit different places. I have visited many remote places where we conduct operations, including Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. It is a really unique experience to be able to see how our business activities blend with nature and the local communities.”
What is your experience of training at Schlumberger?
“I have had the opportunity to take more than 14 in-house technical and soft courses. For some of my training, I have traveled to other countries including France, the US and Colombia. I also took a leave of absence to complete my MBA at the IESE Business School. Schlumberger is completely supportive of individuals pursuing external graduate degrees and certifications that will improve their skills.”