Chevron voices : Sirajum Munira, geoscientist
My journey with Chevron Bangladesh began in 2013. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in 2010, followed by a post-graduate degree in Hydrogeology in 2011, both from Jahangirnagar University in Savar, Bangladesh. Since I was extremely interested in Petroleum Geology, I actively sought scholarship opportunities in programs which would help realize my goals in this arena. My efforts were rewarded in 2012. I received a full scholarship to study at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, in an initiative jointly sponsored by Chevron Thailand and PTTEP, Thailand’s national energy company. I completed a second master’s degree in August 2013, this time in Petroleum Geoscience. Data collection for my final thesis on Petroleum System Evaluation of the North Pattani Basin in the Gulf of Thailand eventually led me to Chevron Thailand. This was my first exposure to Chevron, and that’s when I developed a keen interest to work here. A month after finishing my degree, my wishes were realized. Five years on, I’m now one of three female geoscientists in Chevron Bangladesh.
What made you decide to become a geoscientist?
My fascination with all facets of geology began during my undergraduate degree. I realized I had much to offer the world as a geoscientist. Geoscience is a wonderful way to explore the world, enabling us to unlock hidden secrets of the earth’s physical structure for energy and power security for future generations. Our world has so many undiscovered resources and I wanted a front-row seat to all these discoveries! My aspirations to become a geoscientist were tied to my innate curiosity about the depths of the world and a desire to do my bit to effectively use our natural resources to meet the ever-growing global demand.
Geoscientist, Chevron Bangladesh
What are some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your job?
Undoubtedly one of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the opportunity to learn on the job from a world-class team of experts and practitioners. Horizons is one such training program that I was privileged to be a part of. This is Chevron's own five-year employee development initiative for accelerated experiential learning – one that combines technical and cross-functional training, mentoring and job assignments to nurture employees as global leaders in their respective fields. I’m extremely proud to be one of only two female Horizons graduates in Chevron Bangladesh.
Challenges are part and parcel of my job - from petroleum exploration, to production, to developing reservoir models. The challenges faced by women in operational activities, especially in exploration, are well-documented, but these are particularly acute in Bangladesh. Yet, I was lucky enough to work as a well-site geologist during the drilling projects at Bibiyana and Jalalabad gas fields. I also got valuable operational experience during the perforation and surveillance programs in the Jalalabad and Moulavi Bazar fields.
Looking at it from another perspective, challenges can prove to be rewarding when they’re translated to achievements. One such instance was my work on the very first 3D reservoir model of the Moulavi Bazar gas field, which was instrumental in helping us to look for new opportunities. Another achievement which I’m very proud of was successfully organizing the very first in-house workshop on Bibiyana seismic stratigraphy, facilitated by Chevron's subject matter experts. This helped to update the Bibiyana reservoir model and led us to grow our business by tapping into unexplored production potential.
What is the best thing about working for Chevron?
Serving the petroleum industry as a female geoscientist is not an easy career path to pursue in Bangladesh and the road to success is certainly paved with obstacles. Have a thirst for fresh challenges, work hard and stay focused, hold yourself accountable to your goals, and be a good team player. These tools, and a little bit of good luck, are the building blocks of success, wherever you are, and whether you’re a man or a woman. Finally, in this age of cutting-edge technology, new discoveries are made every day and it’s important to keep informed of global developments in geoscience. So, my parting message is never stop learning, and learn from the best!