A Calgary Young Professionals (YP) workshop was held as part of the Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference in Calgary, Alberta, in the fall of 2011. The workshop, titled Speed Mentoring/Design Your Career, offered participants an opportunity to engage with and obtain the advice of experienced professionals at three sessions over the course of the afternoon. The workshop began with a keynote luncheon, titled Dare to Accelerate Your Career. The keynote speaker, John Honeycutt of Key Energy Services, presented results of a survey that drew on the responses of 2,000 industry professionals. The second session invited four panelists to share their personal career experiences. These were Heather Scott, general manager, In-Situ Business Unit, Suncor; Sheila Reader, manager, Resource Plays and Technology, ConocoPhillips Canada; Jim Barclay, geologic advisor–Western Canada Gas, ConocoPhillips Canada; and Bob Steele, consultant.
The third and final segment of the workshop was a speed mentoring session. Participants broke into groups of two to three YPs, and every 7 minutes mentors circulated to a new table. It was a fast-paced, fun way to meet new people and gain a few extra tidbits of information. Seven minutes is not much time for mentoring, but as long as participants got straight to the point there was usually time to ask at least a couple of questions at each table.
One of the main lessons learned from the workshop was the importance of not only building, but also maintaining networks. One can never fully predict the twists and turns that will be encountered throughout a career. A strong network of colleagues and friends is an important tool to help YPs successfully navigate their careers. All in all, the afternoon received great reviews. SPE Calgary YP looks forward to holding another great workshop next year.