Kelly Reed first knew she wanted to work at Halliburton in college, when she met a female employee who loved the engaging work and interesting experience of working at the oil field services company.
"She described how every day presented new challenges and opportunities to grow and learn. I was intrigued, and got on a plane to Denver for interviews."
Since hopping on a flight and changing her career trajectory, Reed navigated multiple engineering and operations roles to end up in the esteemed position she has today: managing cementing for the entire Willinston, North Dakota site. But it hasn't been easy. Reed says she faced sexism both in her studies and in her male-dominated industry, although she has never let it hold her back. Instead, it's motivated her to climb the career ladder and take on roles that stretch her abilities.
Reed shared how she got where she is today, the importance of her mentors along the way, and why she chose Halliburton for her career journey. Then, she shared her best career advice for women who are looking to progress in their careers and inspire others, just as that first female Halliburton employee inspired Reed — and Reed inspired us.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Kelly Reed
District PSL Manager - Cementing, Halliburton
Williston, North Dakota
Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
In my last semester studying civil engineering at Montana State University, I attended a meet and greet with companies that employ engineers. I met a woman who told me about her work at Halliburton. She described how every day presented new challenges and opportunities to grow and learn. I was intrigued, and got on a plane to Denver for interviews. The interview process included a visit to a location where they had hydraulic fracturing equipment and crews working. I realized how I could use my engineering skills in a way that involved a mix of technology and equipment.
I started as an entry-level engineer in the cementing department in Rock Springs, Wyoming. After being an engineer for a few years, I was given the opportunity to move to an operations position, where the focus shifted from a solely engineering perspective to understanding the day-to-day operations and business of the department. My manager took the time to mentor me, and showed me everything he knew. I believe this was the turning point in my career, where I got the most development. Without his mentorship, I would have never gotten the position that I’m in today — managing the entire cementing department in North Dakota.
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
I’m most proud of overcoming the adversity that I’ve faced being a women in a male-dominated degree program and career field. If I was told that I couldn’t do something or that I’d be terrible at something, it motivated me to prove them wrong. I work extremely hard to excel at my career, and it makes me proud to see other women pursue engineering careers at Halliburton.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
The biggest challenge I have faced in my professional career has been taking on my current role. I have had the opportunity to build my team, set standards, and work closely with my team leads to ensure we are successful. My time in this role has pushed me to become a better leader.
What do you do when you’re not working?
My husband and I love traveling and being outdoors. We enjoy everything from hiking and fishing to snowshoeing and exploring the world. The biggest thing we share is a passion for good food. My husband is an amazing chef, and the thing we do most when we travel is eat.
If you could have dinner with anyone — dead or alive — who would it be and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt because she was a woman who was not afraid to challenge the status quo. She was outspoken, and fought for civil rights. She forever changed how we view the First Lady of the United States.
What is your go-to karaoke song?
Anything by Tom Petty can get me singing, even if I don’t want to.
What is your favorite movie?
"The Lord of the Rings" series is something I love to veg out to.
What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
"The Iliad," because it’s a book you can read over and over again and still find something interesting.
What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
My husband and I have remodeled homes in both Rock Springs and now Williston, so I spend my time exploring new things for the house. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. But if I won the lottery, the first thing I would do is pay off my family’s debt. Then, I'd take a family vacation to some exotic place where we could all relax, explore, and eat amazing food.
What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
Don’t pass up a role because you feel you are not 100 percent ready. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. I have taken on positions where I didn’t think I knew enough to be successful, and I was able to utilize my strengths and find a way.
What do you love about where you work?
What I enjoy most about working for Halliburton — and in the energy industry — is that it is always evolving and changing. I love that the business is dynamic; it constantly challenges me and keeps me on my toes. I love the fact that my days are filled with challenges and problems that I can solve by using my skills and experience.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.
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