Helen McSweeney: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is Enerflex Account Manager Helen McSweeney, who found her calling in the oil and gas industry after moving to Canada from Ireland in 2009. What’s one thing you might not know about her profession? Find out in today’s profile…

Where do you work?

What do you do?
Ah yes, this is a tricky one to explain in layman’s terms. I am Account Manager with Enerflex, the global leader in compression and process for the energy industry. We design and fabricate the applications required between the well head and the pipeline for both oil and gas applications. For my part I look after the junior and intermediate producers, typically producing anything up to 15,000 BOE daily. I work closely with a team of applications engineers to design and deliver fabrication projects for production facilities right across Canada. I am very fortunate to have an incredibly talented team with a wealth of experience that they readily share with me on a daily basis. I came from a marketing background, working for Red Bull in Europe before moving to Canada, so it was a big surprise that I would enjoy working in this industry as much as I do. People make the job as much as the content of the work I have discovered.

I am the only female on the team and my clients are predominantly male, so it has its challenges; however, I can already see this changing for the best with many women now joining the ranks of the oil and gas industry. Balance is an asset in any industry.

Homegrown in Calgary or Transplant?
I moved here from Ireland in 2009 seeking adventure in the Rocky Mountains and found a lot more than I bargained for. I am completely settled here and that is owing to the warmth and outlook of the people here. This city rewards hard work and ambition. I have been fortunate to be mentored by some great individuals in Calgary.

One thing we might not know about your profession?
25% of graduating engineering programs are female now. I hope this number continues to grow as the industry moves in the right direction, striking a balance between the sexes.

Best career tip you’ve learned along the way?
Integrity lasts and you are only as good as your reputation.

Most common mistake you see other young professionals make?
Youth isn’t typically synonymous with patience. When we are young we tend to rush through decision and stages of our career too hastily. It is easy to speak to this having worked professionally for over 10 years now, but I was guilty of making snap decisions regarding my career in the past.

How do you find a happy balance between striving for success and being happy with where you are?
I sleep less or at least I try to! This balance is an ongoing process that requires altering on a regular basis but I make it work. I have a great management team and a strong sense of trust with my group so we get the work done when required, leaving us some flexibility for personal pursuits when needed. After 5pm is what gives us our “colour” and depth in the work place. I believe it is vital to pursue personal goals, hobbies and happiness as much as it is to chase after work and monetary success.

Favourite restaurants in Calgary?
Fleur de Sel, Notable, Sait Culinary School, Scotia Centre for a lunch on the go!