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.