The second edition of the Egypt Oil & Gas (EOG) Upstream Operational Excellence Convention reaches its third and final day today. Dedicated to the youth in the oil and gas sector, the Young Professionals’ Day started with an open panel discussion on the importance of career visioning to sustain business and retain talent.

Panelists included Eng. Maha Fouad Attia, Vice Head of Technical Office at the Ministry of Petroleum; Eng. Ahmed Osama, Enppi’s Project Manager; Eng. Tarek Sami, Enppi’s Senior IT External Projects Coordinator; Eng. Layla El-Hares, GM Development Egypt and East Mediterranean at Shell; Ms. Mirna Arif, Regional Sales Director O&G Digital Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia at BHGE; and Eng. Sameh Sabry, Country Manager at DEA Egypt.

Eng. Attia opened the discussion commenting on the the approaches of the Ministry of Petroleum’s Modernization Program to human resources (HR) and youth empowerment. “One of the major and most important pillars in the modernization is the HR pillar, as we believe our HR are the biggest value we have,” said the ministry’s representative, who is also the leader of the Modernization Program’s Realization Office.

Eng. Sabry pointed out that in order to achieve a successful career path in the sector, young professionals should have more than just technical skills. One of the most important soft skills in his opinion is communication. “You need to make sure that you are expressing yourself in a structured and convincing way,” he said.

A number of panelists emphasized the need for the sector to adapt and become more flexible in its approach to young professionals.

“We need to think about the young talent; they are motivated by different things,” Eng. Hares said, suggesting that companies should move to a more flexible working model that accommodates modern lifestyles and working schedules.

Building on her comments, Eng. Sabry spoke of the importance of developing careers on an individual basis in order to increase employee retention.

“The key things to retain talent is to provide them with opportunities to continuously learn and grow,” he said. Speaking of his own career development, he told the audience that “every time I get out of my comfort zone, it pays off,” emphasizing the importance of providing a variety of training and development opportunities.

For Eng. El-Hares, promoting the culture of safety and care within the oil and gas companies is a key step to retain young professionals and encourage them to improve. “If people feel they are cared for, they will not think of quitting. What we really need to do is being close to our people and lead by example,” she added.

Ms. Arif, an expert on digitalization, told the audience that new technologies are key to attracting and retaining talent within the industry. “Digitalization is a game-changing element for the industry, it is the key for oil and gas players to attract talent,” she said. “The younger generations want more agility, they want more flexibility. Digitalization gives them all of that,” she added.

Eng. Attia closed the discussion with advice for the new generation of professionals: “Don’t be afraid of being creative, because this is how change comes along. Try to be experienced and knowledgeable in your work; you have to leave your own print.”

“We are united here for the same objective, which is we want to be the leaders of the future and challenge ourselves,” Eng. Sami, also a member of the Modernization Project’s ERP Program and Middle Management Program, added.


By Mariana Somensi and Matthew Hoare