Career Development

My Journey From Being a Mentee to Becoming an SPE Mentor

The SPE eMentoring program can help boost your confidence about your next step in the industry and help achieve your career goals.

Mentee Emiliano Bond and mentor Luis Valencia (red coverall) at the Nabors Rig at Huyapari Field, Petropiar SA, Eastern Venezuela during "A Day as Engineer" activity supported by the SPE Eastern Venezuela Section.

For young professionals, being an SPE member brings a lot of benefits from conference and workshop discounts, access to technical knowledge, and volunteering opportunities. However, one of the programs that can help boost your confidence about your next step in the industry and help achieve your career goals without boundaries or borders is the SPE eMentoring program.

Finding solid advice from someone who’s been there was the reason that ignited my curiosity to join the program. My SPE mentors have been located in Oman and Canada, while I was in Venezuela. Their insights at different stages of my career provided me with meaningful advice for developing my career focused on my interests, concerns, and skills.

What makes a good mentoring connection?

Respect. This is the best way to establish a good relationship with a mentor. Every time I talk with my mentor, we always say or write something about principles and morals. Things that are easy to lose nowadays and even more in a billionaire industry.

 - Jorge Luis Proaño Suárez, SPE eMentee, Petroleum Engineering Student, Universidad Central Del Ecuador

A highlight of being part of the program is the opportunity to share knowledge about the industry trends and best practices that can be beneficial for the current project that you are working on—despite the time-zone and regional differences between the mentee and the mentor involved in the relationship.

While the benefits of having a mentor are many, as young professionals, you could also be a bridge between different generations in the industry by being an SPE mentor. My transition from mentee to mentor in the program was natural—to retribute to SPE the good advice provided to me by my mentors, and to encourage students to keep working hard for their dreams.

My mentees are from Venezuela and Brazil. Serving as a mentor has been a great way to motivate others to achieve their goals and transfer experience and knowledge for the benefit of the industry, all while improving my leadership and people management skills.

One of the great advantages of having a mentor working in a different area of the industry is the opportunity to visualize new career paths. One of my mentors, Juan Peralta, Asset Development Leader at Schlumberger, provided me insightful advice about the unconventional resources development, igniting my passion to pursue a career in this area. On the other hand, having Emiliano Bond as my mentee, a Chevron intern who is passionate about drilling and completions (D&C), allows me to keep myself updated about drilling technologies, as well as to learn from him about D&C and see how I could improve the discipline integration with my work as a geoscientist.

The SPE eMentoring program is a friendly connecting platform between two persons that enjoy being part of the oil and gas industry. In my case, I communicate with my mentors and mentees through social media or WhatsApp once a month and sometimes more frequently when an advice is needed.

The lasting relationships made through the eMentoring program improve your confidence along your career journey. Joining the program through the SPE website is a fast and easy process. Give it a try and become a mentor or mentee. A thousand doors will open through this win-win relationship that fosters connection and knowledge transfer among our society members.

How to find the right mentor?How to find the right mentee?

Identify in the SPE eMentoring profile:

  • Similar career interest
  • Motivation to be a mentor
  • SPE region where you have an interest to develop your career

Identify in the SPE eMentoring profile:

  • Goal-oriented student or young professional
  • Passion to learn about the industry
  • Previous experience or volunteering involvement in SPE activities is a plus

Luis Enrique Valencia is a geoscientist with more than 9 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He held positions in the exploration and development divisions in Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago at Chevron. He is currently based in Canada. As an active SPE member, he was the SPE Eastern Venezuela Section chairperson and program chairperson during 2015–2018, with a strong focus on the SPE eMentoring program and Ambassador Lecturer Program. He was awarded the SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award for the South America and Caribbean Region in 2017.  Valencia holds a MSc in Earth Sciences from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, BS in geochemistry (Magna Cum Laude) and BS in geological engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela.