Technical Leaders

Millennials, loosely defined as individuals born between the 1980s and 2000s, now make up the SPE young professional demographic. We are known for many things, both good and bad, but perhaps most notably, we are not satisfied with putting our heads down and waiting our turn to climb the corporate ladder. Millennials desire challenging and impactful careers. We have come to expect exceptional reward for exceptional work. As a result, we are rarely satisfied staying in one role or at one company for too long. So, the question is, how do we keep our careers exciting and dynamic? Kim McHugh, general manager of drilling and completions for Chevron Services Company, and Jake Howard, operations supervisor for Chevron, weigh in on how to manage these transitions gracefully and strategically.

What was the motivation for your transitioning of roles?

Kim McHugh (KM): Operations is such an exciting part of our business. I love being a part of the day-today operations at the rig, delivering production for the business plans, all at a very fast pace. That being said, the motivation to change to a corporate role is that I get to know what is happening around the world for Chevron. This is a role of influence with industry interaction outside of Chevron. Being able to travel is also a plus, as I get to visit operations around the world.

Jake Howard (JH): I have always been excited to take on new challenges. Moving into operations as a production team lead, then as an operations supervisor presented a number of new development opportunities.

With prior engineering experience in carbon dioxide flooding, waterfloods, and heavy-oil steamfloods, this move gave me an opportunity to learn the frontline challenges that come with our modern day unconventional tight oil play. This transition would also give me the chance to learn the core of the business from the ground floor, spending time at the wellhead learning. Yet, the biggest opportunity I saw was to begin expanding my scope within a technical role to a leadership role.

Being responsible for a team to accomplish results through motivating and developing others was the biggest driver for taking on this transition. Being able to do so in a company such as Chevron, knowing I would never have to compromise my integrity or values, made the opportunity even more attractive.

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