Mary Johnson

5 tips for growing your career from top women in energy

Blog Post created by Mary Johnson on Oct 23, 2017

Part of our job at Pink Petro is to shine a light on our members. We ask about their career milestones, their successes and setbacks and their advice.


This week, we decided to focus in on that advice. We looked back at some of our past profiles and pulled out our favorite nuggets of wisdom. Read on for more from our community.


Got some tips to add to the mix? Tell us in the comments below or email me at!


Lorrie Alvarez Thompson is the vice president of global sales at Emerson Automation Solutions. She has visited 34 countries and spent much time in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. So not surprisingly, her advice to others looking to grow their careers is to work internationally:


“It brings a different perspective when you have to learn to assimilate into a different culture.”


Read more about Lorrie’s travels here.


Ally Cedeno is a senior dynamic positioning operator for a major drilling contractor and the founder of—a website dedicated to helping other women make names for themselves in the energy industry. The best piece of career advice she’s received is to learn not just what to do, but why you should do it:


Early on in my career, I was told to ‘normalize discomfort in learning.’ My supervisor told me to not be afraid to dive in deep into manuals, ask questions and get dirty searching for answers to learn the ins and outs of the systems I work with. Basically, he didn’t just want me to know what button to press, but instead learn how and why it functions the way it does.”


Read more about Ally’s career here.


Susan Ellerbusch is the CEO of Air Liquide USA. Prior to that, she was an executive at BP, where her career spanned chemicals, refining and marketing and biofuels. At BP, she was also the executive sponsor of BP’s 2,500-member North American Women’s Network. Despite the diversity of her experience, her advice on leadership is universal:


“Being a leader isn't about knowing the most or trying to be the smartest person in the room. As a leader, you need to recognize talent, encourage development, and promote your teams and team members. Give them the trust and autonomy to be creative and do excellent work. As the leader, you define the direction and ensure there is a shared purpose amongst the team.”


Read more about Susan’s career here.


Yetunde Okediji is a petroleum engineer who has held positions at ConocoPhillips and Chevron. Due to the energy industry’s downturn, Yetunde is currently in transition and seeking a new petroleum engineering position. So her advice for the community is about what to do when your job falls on the chopping block. The biggest question people ask is whether they should "wait it out." Yetunde says that's a personal decision, but here's what you should do regardless: 


“Keep your head up and strategically get out of the house! Almost all the people that I have met who have found jobs got those jobs through their immediate or extended network. The best advice I received after my layoff was to order some business cards and start attending networking events.”


Read more about Yetunde’s experience here.


Carmen Segovia is an advanced information technology business analyst at Marathon Oil. She’s also a first-generation Mexican American and the first member of her family to go to college. In her career, she’s found success by honing in on what she wants and going after it with everything she’s got. But she’s also learned to be resilient and to adapt to change:


“This is a great industry. However, one must be ready to adjust when things aren't going so well,” she said. “Only you drive your career. Always look for and take advantage of new opportunities that may come your way.”

Read more about Carmen’s career here.