YPDaily: Mark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson is a 32-year-old VP of Business Development for Bankers Petroleum. This Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania) grad has a tough task: finding and maintaining investors in the world of oil (actually…that’s just the half of it). Find out more about Mark Hodgson in today’s YPDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am the VP of Business Development for Bankers Petroleum, a Calgary-based oil company using Albertan oil sands technology to develop the largest onshore oilfield in Europe. It’s in Albania, and no…that is shockingly not a typo.

My job is to travel the world, looking at other oil and gas fields we could potentially buy, finding regional buyers for our oil, and speaking to large global investors about buying shares in our company on the Canadian stock market.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I had left a job in investment banking in London, England in 2009, having decided that I wanted a change of pace and to learn more about the corporate side of business when my favourite CEO approached me about coming to work for him in Calgary. I grew up here and was keen to make the move back to Canada after spending 13 years studying and working abroad. But it was really the opportunity to work with such a top-tier group of international oil and gas entrepreneurs that I couldn’t pass up.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is definitely the interaction on a global scale with some of the brightest minds in the investment community. The markets have been extremely challenging lately with our sector underperforming in the market, and although it can be stressful answering to investors as to why stock valuations can change so dramatically in such a short period of time, I enjoy explaining the ins and out of the business to our shareholders which, if I have done my job well, usually keeps them invested for the longer term.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself running a small private equity firm based here in Calgary, focused on early stage investment in international oil and gas companies. While many Canadians may think of oil and gas as exclusive to Western Canada, Calgarian companies are actually global leaders in innovative exploration and development around the world.

What does success look like to you?
Ha! Tough question. I guess the measuring stick I use these days is how I feel at the end of each day. If I have done something I am proud of, then the day has been a success. In the end, what matters most is how you feel about yourself because it generally has a great influence on how you treat the people around you and are viewed by your peers.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Probably surviving September 11th. It was my sixth day working in NYC on the floor of the stock exchange. I not only saw the first plane hit from my office, but was in the South tower at 8:30am that morning.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
The most successful jobs I’ve had were the ones I was completely under-qualified for. I always tell my friends to shoot big when job hunting and interviewing. The steep learning curve will not only teach you a lot, but you’ll be working so hard to fill in the gaps that you’ll eclipse what you thought you could achieve before you catch your breath.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I am on the Calgary committee for Movember, a men’s health charity that raises awareness about prostate cancer and money for research through moustache growth in the month of November around the world. Last year we raised $78 million globally, over $20 million of that coming from Canada. I also led a group of young professionals down to Colombia this year to fund and build several classrooms as a school outside Bogota. In 2012 we are going to do the same thing, but in Turkey!

What to you is notable?
Anything that makes me stop and wonder, “how did I never think of that?”

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone in Canada, Blackberry abroad.