What have you learned about your chosen industry?
The oil and gas industry is among the key industries in any economy in the contemporary world. This industry involves the exploration, mining, refining, distribution, and marketing of oil and gas products (Hilyard 2012). Even though oil and gas exploration and extraction give numerous products, fuel oil and gasoline are the key products. Oil and gas are needed in virtually every industry, which makes it an indispensable industry in the energy sector. In Europe, oil consumption makes up to 32% of the total energy consumption, while in the Middle East, it accounts for over 50% (Inkpen & Moffet 2011). Different studies on global oil consumptions point that thirty billion barrels of oil are used across the world annually. Therefore, these facts place the oil industry amongst the key players in the progression of any economy, which makes it a potential sector for entrepreneurs.
However, despite its critical role in economies across the world, the oil and gas industry faces key challenges due to the reliance on fossils, which are non-renewable (Hilyard 2012). In addition, the oil and gas industry contributes significantly to environmental pollution. For instance, oil spills pose a major challenge to the oil and gas industry as such incidences pose a threat to human and marine life, thus disturbing the ecosystem. In addition, industrial emissions due to the use of oil products pose a major challenge to the air due to the formation of smog and emission of other volatile organic compounds, which come together to contribute to the contentious issue of global warming. In addition, the unsustainability of oil production due to its non-renewable nature is also a major challenge to the industry. Therefore, with the issues of global warming and climate change, environment stakeholders are pushing for cleaner and sustainable sources of energy.
What have you learned about the skills and knowledge required for your target role? And your development needs?
The most outstanding aspect of the marketing of oil and gas products is that it happens on a global scale. Oil and gas production occurs in isolated areas, but the consumption of the products occurs worldwide; hence, the first skills and knowledge entail knowing the market dynamics of the industry. The second step is to know the different products involved in the industry, coupled with their quality. For instance, a certain market may be interested in crude oil, while another might be concerned with refined oil products. In addition, one has to gain knowledge on worldwide market prices in a bid to come up with a pricing strategy that addresses the different needs in the market competitively. Given that the oil and gas market is extensive, and it has the potential to grow, a marketer should be in a position to note and exploit the different arbitrage opportunities. In essence, a marketer should have sufficient knowledge of the products’ distribution system coupled with the marketplace dynamics. Another key area and skill is the ability to know the key players in the industry, coupled with how they create and add value to the product. The ability to forecast future trends in the industry markets is also critical in a bid to be proactive and design marketing strategies for the future.
Concerning my development needs, I realized that on top of achieving the relevant education on oil and gas marketing, I should learn through apprenticeship. The market trends in the industry are changing rapidly, and some trends might not be captured in the academic arena, and thus for my development, I need to be in the real marketplace for skills and knowledge equipping and development.
What have you learned about how well you can market yourself to employers?
The conventional way of marketing myself to potential employers is by coming up with professionally written curriculum vitae (CV) and dropping it to different employers. However, the job market dynamics are changing, and companies might not necessarily hire me simply because I dropped my CV. Therefore, the networking aspect comes in play at this point. People networks play a key role in marketing oneself to potential employers. The starting point would be to let my network members know that I am in need of a job, and thus the moment they hear of an opening they will let me know.
The other critical way of marketing myself to potential employers is via attending events hosted by different professional and charity organizations. In such a meeting, I should talk to at least one person, who is in a position to connect me with potential employers through referrals.
The emergence of social media has opened a novel channel of marketing one’s skills to employers. For instance, LinkedIn offers the best platform to connect with potential employers as it captures one’s skills, which are then accessible to employers. Recruiters also offer a good opportunity to connect with potential employers. Such organizations keep in touch with numerous companies across the world, and every time an opportunity comes up, they are the first to know. Volunteering also offers a good opportunity to market one’s skills to employers, as during the volunteering period, employers can assess one’s skills and competencies.
Hilyard, J 2012, The Oil & Gas Industry: A Nontechnical Guide, Penn Well Corporation, Tulsa, OK.
Inkpen, A & Moffet, M 2011, The Global Oil & Gas Industry: Management, Strategy and Finance, Penn Well Corporation, Tulsa, OK.