SPE eMentoring Stories
Patricia E. Carreras, Reservoir Engineering Consultant, Mentor
Gender, age, race, and nationality diversity at the workplace adds value to our professional and personal lives. Different generations have always coexisted at the workplace. However, the long expected “big crew change” in the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production industry, when quickly occurred, created challenges for the successful integration of different generations.
I believe that mentoring can beneficially impact this integration. Mentoring could help generations understand each other’s different perspectives, work styles, behaviors, standards, values, and beliefs. Mentoring is the most powerful tool to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from experienced to young professionals. The SPE eMentoring program provides the means to generate these win-win cross-generational relationships.
During the first meeting my mentee and I consider our personal schedules and agree about the preferred day/time for subsequent meetings. It is also very important to define the goals very early in the relationship. In this way, both of us are knowledgeable about what to expect from the program.
I have noticed that, occasionally, it is not clear to the mentee that the mentoring relationship requires time. Any topics that we are going to discuss, either technical or developmental, will require the mentee to allocate some personal time to reflect, study, or research the topics of his/her interest.
My mentee and I have biweekly meetings that typically last at least one hour. We meet online using Zoom, and continue communication by email, as appropriate, between meetings. Zoom allows us to discuss documentation by screen sharing.
My mentee drives the relationship. One of my mentees responsibilities is to send the Zoom invitation several days before the meeting, and to submit the meeting minutes as soon as possible after the meeting. The minutes briefly capture the topics that were discussed, lessons learned, and action items. Consequently, the topics that we plan to discuss during the following meeting are clear to both of us.
The interactions with my mentee are professional and confidential. I commonly share good practices to improve reasoning, communication, and presentation skills, and emphasize the importance of networking. Being a mentor, gives me the opportunity to further refine my communication and leadership skills.
If the goals for the program are clearly defined, and we both, mentor and mentee, allocate the necessary time and efforts to fulfill them, the mentoring connection blooms. Based on my experience, it’s good if a friendship develops between mentor and mentee, but not a necessary condition to share a successful mentoring relationship.
My advice to potential mentees is to reflect if they have time in their busy schedules for the mentoring relationship, before taking any commitment. If the mentee decides to take the challenge, and later on he/she realizes that he/she would prefer to cancel the program, the recommendation is to let the mentor and the eMentoring program administrator know about this decision.
As a mentor, it is very rewarding to observe the progress of my mentee, as he/she accomplishes his/her goals. I feel very satisfied for the opportunity that the eMentoring program provides to share my professional experience with others. Mentoring inspires unique relationships that foster mentor and mentee personal satisfaction and career success. Do not miss the opportunity to join!
Ms. Carreras' main interests are reservoir engineering, field development planning, reservoir simulation, mentoring and coaching. She has worked for major, independent and consulting oil and gas companies for more than 25 years. With vast international work experience, gained in Houston, Ciudad del Carmen (Mexico), and Buenos Aires, she is an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, currently serving in the Business, Management and Leadership Committee, and volunteering as a mentor for the eMentoring program. She holds a Bachelor degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Buenos Aires, and a Master of Engineering degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.