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