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Charting Barrier Breaking Success in the Oil Industry

Photo: Courtesy of Carmen Segovia

Carmen Segovia has quite a few “firsts” under her belt. She’s a first-generation Mexican American. She’s also the first member of her family to go to college.

Needless to say, she’s comfortable with forging her own path — which has brought her to her current role of advanced information technology business analyst at Marathon Oil, an independent exploration and production company based in Houston, Texas.

Hers is a story being repeated at companies across the natural gas and oil industry as more women and minorities join an increasingly diverse workforce.

Read on to find out more about how she made her way to Marathon Oil, as well as her best advice for other women who are hoping to make names for themselves in the oil and gas industry.

Getting her start​​​​​​​

Unlike many people, Segovia didn’t discover the oil and gas industry after exploring her career options. It was a field she pretty much always knew she’d work in. “Born and raised in Houston, the oil industry was all I ever heard about,” she explains. “So when the time came, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

With that in mind, Segovia pursued a degree in management information systems from the University of Houston. While in school, she was involved with the Management Information Systems Student Organization, which introduced her to Marathon Oil.

After being interested in what the company had to offer, Segovia applied for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund that Marathon Oil sponsored and was brought in to interview for their internship program.

Climbing the ladder

Segovia landed the Marathon Oil internship. But her drive didn’t stop there. She knew she needed to maximize that opportunity to set herself up for success once she graduated.

“My time as an intern only solidified the desire to work for Marathon Oil full-time, so I made sure that I made connections and went above and beyond,” she says.

So Segovia did just that. Her driven attitude meant she not only got to return for a second internship, but she also continued working there while she finished up her bachelor’s degree.

All of that hard work and commitment paid off, as Segovia landed a full-time job following her graduation, after having already worked with the company for about two years.

A day in the life 

In her current role as an advanced information technology business analyst, Segovia supports Marathon Oil’s SharePoint environment, the company’s enterprise-wide collaborative platform.

Doing so involves various responsibilities. “Some days are constant meetings with internal clients, ensuring that their business needs are being met, while other days are managing and completing projects and/or project work,” she says.

But it’s that very variety that keeps Segovia interested in her work. “With technology always changing, my days are never the same, which is what I like about my job,” she adds.

Life at Marathon Oil

While Segovia loves her job, she feels just as confident that she found the right fit at Marathon Oil. “I really enjoyed the company culture when I started,” she explains. “The emphasis on the community, the flexibility, but, best of all, the people.”

Since then, she’s continued to find aspects of the company that she admires. One is the emphasis on flexibility for employees. “Whether you have a large family with kids and need to leave early for a school emergency or are single like me and need to leave early for a class if going back to school, or to take a test for a certification, there is always that flexibility,” she adds.

But beyond that, it’s Marathon Oil’s culture of inclusivity that she finds especially appealing.

 “The Women’s Network, for example, allows all women at Marathon Oil to build connections with different women at all levels throughout the organization,” she says.

Moving forward

Looking toward the future, Segovia is excited to continue advancing in her career — with the support of the company behind her.

And as a woman in an otherwise male-dominated field, she has some encouraging advice for other women who are looking to make waves in the oil and gas industry. “Be resilient and learn to adapt to change,” she says. “This is a great industry, however one must be ready to adjust when things aren’t going so well.”

When it comes to the very best career advice she’s ever received? Segovia recites a sentiment on which it’s clear she built her career: “Only you drive your career. Always look for and take advantage of new opportunities that may come your way.”

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