- Day in the Life
Day in the Life: Raman – Business Development Manager/Reservoir Engineer-in-Training
Since deciding to pursue a career in Canada’s oil and gas industry in 2014, Raman has learned what few universities or companies formally teach — resilience.
“To me, working in the energy sector means resilience. Right now we are navigating through extremely challenging times,” says Raman, a 2017 graduate of chemical engineering at Queen’s University.
A career transition
For Raman, navigating the challenging times has offered several rapid-fire opportunities. After summer internships with Bankers Petroleum, she was hired full time as a reservoir/production engineer-in-training.
“I spent some time working internationally on a heavy oil asset on the largest onshore oilfield in continental Europe,” Raman says. Working in Albanian oilfields helped build her technical skills. When Bankers closed its Calgary office after being sold, she opted to stay in the city.
“I wanted to learn about the Canadian sector,” Raman explains.
Her next job was with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada as a management consultant, where she learned how to improve business operations and help businesses make better decisions. In 2019, she became a reservoir engineer-in-training and project manager with Fracture Modeling Inc. (FRACMOD), a boutique technical consulting firm in Calgary specializing in hydraulic fracture modelling, reservoir characterization and reservoir simulation.
“Working at FRACMOD is challenging and enables me to always be open-ended, and I decided to push myself everyday by thinking about how we could grow the business,” Raman says. “By coupling my formal and informal education, I have developed both technical and business analytical skills that I use for this position to understand past performance of the business, help develop a future vision for the company and, ultimately, better serve our clients.
A typical day
“My job has a specific title, but it doesn’t encompass everything I do in my day-to-day role,” Raman says. “We always put our clients first, so often times I find myself supporting tasks such as data modelling, preparing client presentations and running frac simulation jobs. I also spend a lot of time putting together different packages for our management team—whether it’s a spend analysis and lookback, updated marketing presentations, or forecasts on what certain opportunities will bring the business.”
In addition to resilience, the skills she uses the most in her job are analytics, problem-solving and empathy. The business is grounded in science, but it depends equally on listening to and understanding clients’ needs.
“Having empathy and putting myself in their shoes to understanding their timelines and what is important to them is key to the nature of my role,” Raman says.
She has also learned to do what’s important for FRACMOD itself.
“There is a lot more to manage in a small business,’” Raman says. “I have learned that no matter what your specific role is, you wear multiple hats. Sometimes I am a reservoir engineer-in-training, the treasurer, the business development manager and the receptionist. It can be challenging managing so many priorities.”
The result, she says, is that she has become “extremely organized and meticulous” and much better at prioritizing tasks.
There is a lot more to manage in a small business. I have learned that no matter what your specific role is, you wear multiple hats. Sometimes I am a reservoir engineer-in-training, the treasurer, the business development manager and the receptionist. It can be challenging managing so many priorities.Raman, Bachelor’s degree Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University
Creating culture and community
Raman brings her professional skills to her personal life. In 2018, she launched a not-for-profit organization called Apar Initiative. Apar, which means limitless and boundless in Sanskrit, is focused on encouraging and empowering the next generation of professional women in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and leadership. Her vision is to have Apar Initiative mentorship programs and chapters at Canadian universities and enable a community that values mentorship and growth.
“We want to have a culture and a community where people can come to learn about the opportunities available to them,” Raman says. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but it’s worth doing.”
She recently put the proceeds from a GenNext award for philanthropy from the United Way, Calgary & Area into Apar Initiative to fund its activities.
Nurturing Apar Initiative is just one of her goals. She also wants to earn an MBA.
“I am a lifelong learner and throughout my career I don’t want to stagnate. I always want to grow and add value,” Raman says. “My current jobs check all the boxes, but I’m still setting myself up for learning every day.”
Eventually, she wants to establish and run her own business.
“I know I want to build more and, ultimately, find a way to tie together many of my passions into businesses. FRACMOD has given me opportunities to learn things I wouldn’t have learned in my previous roles this early in my career. As I progress in my career, I want to be the person who uplifts and empowers others, builds something great with my team, and helps provide opportunities where I can.”
$73,000 to $138,000
Bachelor’s degree Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University
Salary, education and advancement may vary from company to company.
- Day in the Life
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