I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineer in July 2017 from the National University of San Martin, and I had the privilege to be the first student to finish this undergraduate program in Argentina. I could start working in the private sector two years before, for a renewable energy company; and after my graduation, I worked for the Secretary of Energy of Argentina, as Technical Advisor. I actively developed public policies related to energy savings and efficiency and participated in several programs with great regional impacts for four years.

During the employment period, I could identify that was necessary for my professional expectation to follow with my graduate education. This was a challenge since there were not many programs in Argentina that addressed the energy issue in its entirety, in the way that I wanted to study the sector. The United States, particularly Texas, was a great place to continue with my education due to the large history and high level of development that has reached for the energy sector. However, coming to the U.S. was a huge challenge, not only economic but also logistical and cultural. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic incorporated an additional complexity factor.

The previous months to the trip were confusion, expectation, and uncertainty. During that time, I had the opportunity to know about the IAPG's Claudio Manzolillo Scholarship through previous fellows, and Guillermo Hitters (the IAPG Houston president at that time) introduced me to this opportunity. Some weeks after my application, I received the Eduardo Galindez communication that I had been selected. The IAPG Scholarship allowed me to manage the economic challenge, covering a great part of my tuition. Moreover, the application process was simple and personalized. Both characteristics must not be underestimated since are unusual for this type of process and were a great benefit for me.

Currently, I am pursuing a master’s program in Energy and Earth Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. Being an interdisciplinary program, allows me to focus on my interest, sustainability, and especially energy efficiency. As part of the program, I am taking a variety of courses in business, law, engineering, geosciences, among others. For my graduate thesis, I will be working with a demand response program for the electricity market in Argentina. I am addressing this challenge not only from an engineering perspective but also from an economic and regulatory approach. 

After I finish my program in Spring 2023, I will apply my knowledge and continue my contribution to the development of the energy sector, seeking both the public and the private sector to design and implement long-term plans and programs that involve the assessment and improvement in the use of energy in all its forms, always pursuing as a final goal the sustainability. Being part of this program, with IAPG support, is providing me with a broader perspective concerning both professional and human aspects.

There has never been a more critical time for governments and organizations to profit from the resources made available by technology, which can provide a solution for the energy transition challenge that the world is currently facing. I am confident that, with the master’s program at UT and this experience supported by IAPG, I will have gained all the necessary training to not only provide solutions for Argentina's needs for the sector but to become a high-impact leader.

Sabrina Nava

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After completing my bachelor’s degree in Geology at the year 2011, I have worked for the oil industry in Neuquén City, Argentina for almost 10 years. I was hired in the 2011 year by YPF s.a Oil Company and after having completed a Master´s degree in Operational Geology and Petrophysics, I moved to Neuquén City to start my career in the Operational Reservoir Team.

The first years of my career I started as an Operational Geologist for then becoming the Operational Reservoir Team Leader, a huge honor and challenge, leading a team of engineers and geologist. That experience was one of the greatest in my career.

At that stage, I also started to work as a Project Manager of Upstream projects with different scopes and reservoir types (primary-secondary recovery development) and it was then when I became passionate about Project Management.

I have worked in the project sector for many years, gaining experience in Conventional, Tight Oil and Gas, and Unconventional Gas reservoir projects. I was also certified as a PMP (Project Management Professional) and a Scrum Master in the year 2020.

Due to the knowledge and experience I earn working for one of the biggest oil companies in my country, I started dreaming of creating a Management Consultant Business that provides expert project management advice to external businesses and clients such as Oil Companies.

However, before accomplishing that, I felt the need to improve my skills on Business Administration and I have always found the possibility to study abroad quite striking.

In the year 2021, after giving it a lot of thought I made the hard decision of leaving the company to achieve the goal of studying abroad. I was honored to be accepted at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Canada, one of the top BA schools in the world, to get a Postgraduate degree in Business with concentration in Energy Studies.

Leaving the country not only was a challenge for me, but for my whole family (husband and 3-year-old twins) who were coming with me. Moving to Canada, would mean leaving our comfortable life in Neuquén and adapting to a new culture. Moreover, all in times of Covid-19, one of the most difficult times in History for so many people in the word.

Nevertheless, we made the decision and were prepared for the challenges we were about to face. I can say I´m extremely lucky to always have the support of my family.

A couple of months before travelling to Canada, I was referred to the Claudio Manzolillo IAPG Houston Scholarship by an ex-co-worker and friend of mine who had been himself awarded with the scholarship two years ago.

The IAPGH scholarship surprised me. I was not sure on how to apply and if the process and selection would be difficult. After completing the documentation required and presenting to the IAPGH members of the board my intentions for achieving my post graduate diploma in a simple, accessible process, a couple of weeks later I received a pleasing email saying I had been awarded with it.

The IAPGH has supported me and my professional career from the beginning of this journey. The scholarship has covered my tuition and has been a great financial help for me and my family. Having the tuition covered meant we could use our budget and savings for the other living-expenses we would face as a family of newcomers in a new (and expensive) country. Also, I am confident IAPGH will give me the connections to expand my professional network for future work possibilities.

My future professional plans, once I get my diploma are working and getting familiarized with the Alberta Oil and Gas Industry to win expertise and knowledge in order to be more competitive for funding my own consulting company back in my country hopefully achieving the dream of my life.

I trust in Argentina future economic growth, and I truly believe there are, and will be, plenty of opportunities for start-up companies related to the expansion and development of Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas.

I will always be thankful to the IAPH for the support they have given me, and I am looking forward to continuing collaborating with them through the years. I encourage all Oil & Gas Argentinian young professionals who want to achieve the goal of getting an international experience in a rewarded University to apply to the IAPGH Scholarship.

And always remember as Andy Rooney stated, “opportunities are never lost, they are taken by others”.

Cecilia Garcia

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The world’s increasing interest in unconventional oil and gas triggered my curiosity and my desire to learn more about these resources. In 2015, I started thinking about the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree to further my knowledge of shale oil and gas reservoirs. The development of the technology and production of unconventional reservoirs had exclusively taken place in the U.S. Therefore, America was the best country to gain a deeper understanding of these energy resources. However, the cost of graduate education in the U.S. was unaffordable to me.

At that time, I was an avid reader of the IAPG monthly magazine Petrotecnia in which publishes articles about the oil and gas industry in Argentina. Thanks to this magazine, I got to know that the IAPG Houston offers scholarships for Argentina professionals to pursue graduate studies in the U.S. I made up my mind and I decided to apply. The process was extremely simple: fill an application form and attach university transcripts plus two letters of recommendation. A couple of months after submitting the application, I received an email from Guillermo Hitters (the IAPG Houston president at that time) congratulating me for being awarded the IAPG Houston scholarship.

In 2016, I started the master’s program in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. The IAPG Houston scholarship covered the tuition expenses and thus, helped me to fully concentrate on my studies without worrying about how to pay for my education. Throughout my master’s degree period, the board of directors of the IAPG Houston was in close communication with me, always willing to help with anything I needed. In addition, I was invited to every event they hosted. In 2017, the IAPG Houston invited the former Argentine president Maurcio Macri to Houston and I had the privilege of being part of that meeting.

Studying in the U.S. was a completely enriching and rewarding experience. From the human perspective, I had the opportunity to get to know people and make friends from all over the world. From the academic standpoint, I had the luxury not only to work with two of the most renowned professors in the reservoir engineering field: Larry Lake and Dr. Mark Walsh but also to learn from them. I conducted research on unconventional production on the Bakken and Permian Basin wells. Moreover, I furthered my knowledge while working in multidisciplinary teams of petrophysics, geologists, and geophysics.

Dr. Larry Lake offered me to stay and pursue a PhD degree at the end of the master’s program. It was a tough decision, but I realized that I like research, and I would love to be up to this new challenge. In 2019, I received an Equinor Fellowship which covers all my expenses for my PhD program. The research I conducted during my master’s degree was crucial for being selected for this very prestigious fellowship. So far, I have been the author and co-author of four publications regarding reserves estimation and modeling of unconventional reservoirs. I would like to remark that these accomplishments would not have been possible without the help of the IAPG Houston.

I would like to thank the IAPG Houston board of directors and members as well as the sponsoring institutions for their continued support and commitment to helping the new generations of geoscientists and engineers to fulfill their dreams and to transform their careers. I feel deeply honored of being part of the history the IAPG Houston. Finally, I encourage the Argentine young professionals who are willing to further their studies in the U.S. to apply for the IAPG Houston Claudio Manzolillo scholarship.

With PhD advisors Dr. Larry W. Lake and Dr. Mark P. Walsh at the 2019 UT-Equinor Fellows Reception Event.

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I am a lawyer from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, with a master’s in administration and Public Policy from the Universidad de San Andrés. I was Director of Industrial Policy Application for the Ministry of Productive Development of Argentina for four years. In that capacity, I supervised and managed tax benefits for capital goods manufacturers, including suppliers for Oil & Gas.

With a Fulbright Scholarship, I was accepted at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), to do a Master of Public Affairs in 2020, with a focus on technological innovation, economic development, and finance. As I began to work on the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence as a community expert for the World Economic Forum, I had met with scholars from the IAPGH who introduced me to the support from the institution.

After talking with Guillermo Hitters about my work with programs that encourage innovation in Industry 4.0 and AI for O&G suppliers, I applied for the scholarship. I had a delightful experience of discussing with the scholarship committee on the renewable energy and the use of AI in the field.

With the help of IAPGH, I was able to focus on my study and work within UT, without having to worry about paying tuition in my second year in school. AT LBJ School of Public Affairs, I designed a social impact bond that encourages a quicker implementation of solar energy devices and grid autonomy within Texas with public and private partnerships. I also co-created a credit that could capture state future revenue streams to invest in hybridization of marine transportation. Additionally, I am researching with a multidisciplinary team the impact of AI in lowering the cost of workforce training while increasing safety standards.

My experience in the US has enrichen my personal, academic, and professional life. The Master of Public Affairs at UT opened for me a network filled with opportunities and helped me obtain a specialization. The support from Fulbright and IAPGH was crucial to pursuing this challenge. From a personal perspective, I have shared exceptional moments with a diverse and welcoming community. From an academic and professional perspective, I got to work and talk with world-renowned professionals that I could only read about in Argentina. Overall, I now feel prepared to engage with a global scenario.

My goal after my master’s degree is to work in New York, Chicago, Austin, or San Francisco for a year and then return to Argentina to apply what I learned. I want to continue effecting change in activities that have a high public impact.

Pablo Pejlatowicz

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On 2017, after graduating from the Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) as a Petroleum Engineer and working for three years in Buenos Aires and Neuquén in Argentina, I decided to take a step forward and challenge myself by pursuing a Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. This was possible thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship, but it also required a big economic effort from me and my family.

Just before moving to the USA, a colleague of mine introduced to me to the Claudio Manzolillo IAPG Houston Scholarship. This scholarship is intended for Argentine professionals of the energy industry that enroll in post-graduate studies in the USA. I contacted William Hitters, director of the IAPGH, who encouraged me to sign up for the scholarship, which I did. A few months after I had presented all the required documentation, I received a call from William announcing that I had been awarded with one of the scholarships.

The Claudio Manzolillo scholarship helped me not only to cover the costs of my tuition at UT Austin, allowing me to focus only on my studies, but also to expand my network with very distinguished professionals of the industry, which I consider of greatest importance. Such is the case, that once I was honored with this scholarship, I was invited to a great lunch with members of the board of directors of the IAPGH, who took their time to meet me, listen to my experience, hand in their business cards, and start a connection that would significantly help me in my professional career. Their openness in sharing their expertise and advice during all this time means a lot to me, and it is really helpful to know that I can always count with them, even when it has been a couple of years since I was awarded the scholarship.

One of the highlights of this period was an event I was invited to by the IAPGH, in which the Minister of Treasury and Secretary of Energy of Argentina at that moment, Nicolás Dujovne and Gustavo Lopetegui respectively, had gone to Houston looking for new investors. This event brought me in very close contacts with some of the biggest players in the energy industry in Argentina and the USA. On that occasion, William Hitters didn´t hesitate to introduce me to CEOs of big companies, who handed me their business cards so I could write straight to them in search of job opportunities.

This scholarship was not a past, isolated event in my career; it keeps going with time. I keep in contact with members of the board of directors, and I also took a role in spreading the word of this scholarship. As a matter of a fact, I have friends that have now been awarded with the scholarship, and it is an honor to be able to help them go through the same path as I did. Any professional can benefit substantially from these close connections, beyond the economic support of the IAPGH.

It has now been one and a half years since I graduated from UT Austin, and I am currently working as a Drilling Engineer at Wintershall Dea. I am convinced that the highlight in my resume of this scholarship from a distinguished organization such as the IAPGH helped me a lot in taking such challenging job. With this position, I was able to travel the world doing what I like, which is something I always wanted.

However, I am now in Argentina, getting prepared for a drilling campaign in Vaca Muerta. Helping Argentina increase its energy production as a means of helping the country emerge from very tough years of energy shortage has always been a motor in my career, and I am happy that I can finally bring my short but very rich experience into play. I am forever grateful to the IAPGH for helping me go all this way, and I am looking forward for many more years of close collaboration with it.

Ian Rostagno