Get to know the faces that are working hard behind the scenes to unleash your data’s potential.
This month for our Face Behind the Data profile series, we are excited to introduce, Arezoo Rezafar, Indexing and QC Manager. Since joining Katalyst, Arezoo has made some positive changes within our Indexing team.
Arezoo’s energy, drive, and passion for data management is a great addition to Katalyst. We are excited she could contribute her experience to Face Behind the Data, a series of profiles that feature the hard-working employees behind the solutions and services at Katalyst.
What is your educational and work experience background?
- I received my BSc. in Chemical Engineering in 2001, my Masters’ degree in Management in 2018, and my DBA in Energy Management in 2022.
- During my MSc in Reservoir Engineering (MSc.) in 2001, I decided that it was more beneficial for me to work. I left my studies unfinished when I got a job offer from Schlumberger. With the decision that I made, my goal was to gain experience in the oil and gas industry before choosing what would be the right major to further my studies. I started working for Schlumberger in October 2001 as a Well Engineer (Drilling/Petroleum Engineer). After 5 years in Well Engineering, I was assigned as the Training, Development, and Staffing Manager for Middle East and Asia, as well as Europe and Africa. Another 2 years down the road, I started my Project/Program Management career at Schlumberger with overall 13 years of experience, managing drilling projects in different geographies. During my 20 years with Schlumberger, I worked and lived in many different locations including: Indonesia, Ecuador, Iran, UAE, Libya, Mexico, UK, Malaysia, India, and finally the US. While working, I started studying again in 2016 and by 2022, I managed to obtain my Masters and Doctorate in Management, focused on Energy Management. I have been with Katalyst Data Management since September of 2022 and so far, I have enjoyed my experience. I have many plans for improving our contribution to digitalization for the oil and gas companies.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
- Non-stop learning.
- Working with fantastic people from different cultures in different geographies.
- Drilling wells or contributing to drilling of wells in all continents.
- Learning the importance of data for the oil and gas companies spending millions of dollars to obtain it.
Did you grow up wanting to be a data manager?
As a teenager, I wanted to become an astronaut. My hobby was reading anything and everything related to space, stars, and planets. But, at one point I thought it might be difficult for a Middle Eastern woman to join NASA. I realized my interest in becoming an astronaut was due to the adventurous life an astronaut had. Therefore, I decided to get myself an adventurous challenging career. That was how my journey started in the oil and gas industry. During my career in upstream, I realized the importance of data management in the industry.
How did you get here?
The last 2 years of my career in Schlumberger was focused on digitalization and automation for drilling operations for clients like ExxonMobil and Statoil. This was even more eye opening on the importance of data management. Simultaneously, I was working on my doctoral study about implementation of advanced digitalization in the oil and gas industry, realizing how behind the industry was with digital. Joining Katalyst Data Management was my official embarkation into a data management company.
What are some big lessons learned and/or challenges faced along the way?
The sky is the limit and many limitations are only self-imposed. With a change in mindset, everything is possible when followed passionately and consistently. Winning is not the matter. Showing up even when we fail is what makes the difference. Only through facing challenges we can ensure that we are stretched enough and the learning is ongoing. Staying in our comfort zone will not be the best use of our time on this planet.
What advice do you have for people beginning their career?
Follow your passion and do not let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. No one knows you better than you know yourself. Also remember no matter what you decide to do, data management will be an inevitable part of it now and in the future. Digital is real and it is growing bigger every single moment. It is only wise to take it serious. Power comes through turning data to knowledge.
Are there any organizations or volunteer groups that you are passionate about?
Women in Oil and Gas is one of the organizations that I have supported.
What are some of your favorite things to do and/ or places to visit outside of work?
Reading books and even more so listening to audiobooks, painting, connecting to nature, watching documentaries, especially regarding the brain (the data manager organ of the body), cryptocurrencies, and digital technologies.