"Your Contributions Matter”: Succeeding and Thriving in the Energy Industry

Sponsored by Siemens Energy

Photo Courtesy of Siemens Energy

Photo Courtesy of Siemens Energy

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Fairygodboss
May 18, 2024 at 6:31AM UTC

Throughout her nearly 10-year career, Nancy Cortez has remained with Siemens Energy. Now a Proposals Manager, she initially joined the company as part of a five-year rotational program, which gave her unique exposure to the many roles and people that comprise it. The still-active program has four, one-year-long rotations.

“I believed they would provide me with enough time to learn the role, contribute and see if that was an area where I could envision myself long-term,” Nancy said. 

As part of the Engineering Management Acceleration (eMAP) Program, Nancy has experienced a wide variety of roles, including Process Innovation Engineer, Research & Development Engineer, Proposal Engineer and Client Services Manager, all of which touched different facets of the company. After working as a Sales Manager, Nancy started her current position, where she has been for about six months.

“My current role is my first experience in people management,” she said. “I’m excited about the challenge and learning opportunity.”

She has found herself drawn to the Oil and Gas industry because of its impact on society. “It touches so many other industries,” she explained. “It’s a place where your contributions matter to the world economy.”

Why has Nancy stayed at Siemens so long? It’s a combination of the inclusive culture that has made her feel respected and valued, as well as the extensive career-development opportunities available.

For one, she has built a strong network within the company. “Through this network, I have been offered job opportunities throughout my career that have consistently challenged me and helped me to grow in my career,” Nancy said. “I have also made a point to say yes to as many of these opportunities as possible, so that people see me as someone who is wanting to grow and open to new challenges.”

“I know that within our company, I always have someone to call for advice and help or if I’m ready for a change,” she added.

Nancy also noted that Siemens takes care of its employees. “They give us opportunities to grow,” she said, highlighting health and wellness initiatives — including expanded remote work options for office-based workers during the COVID-19 pandemic — and internal trainings.

She also credits great managers. The best boss Nancy ever had “asked for my opinion often, early on in my career. It provided me the confidence to speak up with my opinions later on in my career.”

All of this has equipped her with the skills and mindset she needs to distinguish herself in her job. “I excel in logistics and I see my current role as a logistics challenge,” Nancy said. “My strength lies in seeing the big picture of resource-loading and being able to shift the workload amongst our team as needed to meet our clients expectations as much as we can.” 

One secret to Nancy’s success? “I love a good checklist. I start and end my workdays with creating and reviewing my daily checklist — which I always write down on paper. I find it thoroughly satisfying to be able to physically check things off my list, and it allows me to keep track of my tasks and make sure I am not forgetting anything.”

So, how can others find success in an industry where women have traditionally been underrepresented? Nancy recommends reading “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman” by Gail Evans, a book she received from her eMAP program director. 

“This book shifted my mindset on a few topics that I truly believe helped me succeed,” she said. “Regardless of where in your career you may be, I think everyone can find a nugget of wisdom in this book. I highly recommend picking up a copy!”

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