By Samir Abdelmoaty – Country Manager, Egypt – Rockhopper Exploration
Al Amal 8th Award Day was a fantastic gathering for exploration pioneers, some with more than 60 years of experience and recent geoscience graduates. The slogan – ‘Gain and Give’ – symbolizes the transfer of experience, knowledge, and business ethics from experienced professionals to new team members, who will then continue in the practice with an even younger generation that will follow. The interest of many experts in participating in the Al Amal Program has been tremendous.
Al Amal Program is organized by the Egyptian Geophysical Society (EGS) to provide the right coordination channels between universities and the oil and gas industry. This program tackles the identified gap between university education in the field and the actual skills demanded by the industry itself in practical terms. Al Amal was designed to bridge this gap and help to enhance the qualification of fresh graduates in order to make them compatible for the right jobs and competitive in the fierce industry. In addition, the aim was to create a pool of qualified talents for international oil companies (IOCs) to be able to contribute to their projects in a challenging environment. Mohamed Hassan, Aswan University said in his part of the presentation at the event: “In order to gain the best work quality, we should have an effective person in a creative environment with a high level of understanding and leadership”.
EGS with the support of major companies, such as Apache, BP, and Shell have worked together to provide the program with experts in different disciplines that would allow for the transfer of relevant knowledge and expertise to young graduates through technical and soft skills sessions, English language courses, practical digital projects, visits to IOCs and technology providers, and HSE awareness raising scheme.
Attendees of the program are selected from universities all over Egypt through online tests. In the assessment processes, candidates are asked to problem solve in groups and only selected ones are invited for a round of personal interviews.
The spirits of the program reflects upon several commonalities that participants and educators share alike. As Mahmoud El Sherbiny from Port Said University, put it in his presentation at the Award Day, “Unity in diversity is a concept of ‘unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation.”
Diversity came out as a crucial element of the Al Amal 8th annual program. It was achieved in the first stage thanks to various experts who decided to volunteer and cooperate in the scheme. Every year, the selection of experts represented different multi-national companies, IOCs, national oil companies (NOCs), services companies, and research institutes. Similarly, a selection of graduates from all over Egypt ensured the diversity on the other pole as well. Graduates came from different universities, with different cultures, genders, and disciplines, and from different education systems, which further enhanced the diversity agenda the companies are aiming for.
As a result, successful graduates from Al Amal Program have been employed by many IOCs, NOCs, and technology providers, in addition, to different universities from which they originally came. They all proved their excellence for their future careers and showed how much they have gained from the program.
It is now their turn to start giving back to younger generation, even with their little experience at present, but which will necessarily grow with time. Their contribution has been remarkable already in the latest edition of Al Amal Program, as it was planned and organized mainly by ‘Amalians,’ Al Amal Program alumni. This initiative has enlarged our audience as experts and alumni are now returning to their universities and beyond to actively spread their knowledge and engage with new pools of students to bring them to the Egyptian industry.
The program is an extraordinary example of team work among Professional Societies such as EGS, EPEX, and SEG; upstream companies like Apache, BP, Enap Sipetrol, Eni, Pico, Transglobe, Trident, and Shell; and technology providers as CGG, Halliburton, PGS, Schlumberger, and WesternGeco.
In the last year of Al Amal Program, GANOPE and Ain Shams University have taken upon themselves the role to host the training sessions and the participants, organizers, and trainers are all grateful for their support that made the program achieve its objectives.