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PESA High-Performer Spotlight: Kevin Dersch, Sr. Category Manager, Halliburton

Kevin Dersch, Sr. Category Manager, Halliburton and 2017 graduate of the PESA Executive Leadership Program

Kevin Dersch, Sr. Category Manager, Halliburton and 2017 graduate of the PESA Executive Leadership Program

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
After my second year of college, I wasn’t sure what I career wanted to pursue. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work with Imperial Oil in Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, Canada on the artificial islands they built in the middle of the Mackenzie River. By the end of the summer, I was hooked on the endless opportunities that I saw before me.

What have you found to be the most surprising about the industry?
I am most surprised by the industry’s resiliency and ability to adapt through continual improvements in technology and safety. This has allowed the industry to not only prosper but become leaner, more efficient and more effective.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
Constantly being driven to exceed the status quo and look for the next opportunity to advance the position of the company is the most rewarding and challenging aspect of the industry. An example is starting and growing a new business in a geomarket that had never taken advantage of such an opportunity. The reward is being part of the solution, which enables the expectations of the company to be exceeded.

Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next 5 years?
I hope to see the analysis of big data help formulate and drive more efficient and effective strategies regarding reserves management, human capital safety and utilization, reducing the cost to produce a BOE.

What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
I see myself as a leader and mentor for future generations as I foster the fusion of their new ideas with tried and true methods of the industry. In other words, I will provide the fuel and sometimes the spark to effect change while being an anchor for stability.

How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
I’ve been involved with PESA for a short while. However, in that time I’ve had invaluable opportunities to network with peers and learn about current events affecting our industry from industry leaders, all while gaining market insight from the multiple facets that make up our industry. PESA is an incredible resource.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
I’ve been able to engage on many levels with numerous leaders in their fields of expertise. I was able to liaise with CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs directing and leading their own company and vision, scientists, engineers, as well as numerous managers and leaders. The one thing they have in common is that they all have unique perspectives. While they may not always provide the answer I’m looking for, I’ve been able to gain valuable insights and lessons from all of them. The challenge is to take these lessons and adapt them so that I am always improving myself as a mentor and leader.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
While I’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, the opportunity to gain new knowledge and continually be challenged to improve are the main motivating drivers that keep me energized and passionate about the work I do. Halliburton is nearing its 100th anniversary. It has come a long way from the first well that was cemented in 1919 and it continues to evolve, develop and lead. This is the nature of the industry; continual change and advancement, opening up doors of challenge and opportunity.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
“What’s taking you so long?” The technology, energy, relationships, challenges, opportunities, rewards and future are almost limitless! How often do you get the opportunity to develop and grow an offshore marine business while working in the middle of the desert, or the opportunity to go swimming at 0 degrees latitude and 0 degrees longitude while on the way to work in the jungle?

What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
Walk with me through a typical day of an average American to see some of the ways in which oil and gas touches our daily lives. You wake up and head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. You cook using your new utensils in your Teflon pan with food taken from the shelves in your refrigerator. You then make lunch for the kids and package it up in sandwich bags after which you put the scraps in the trash can. You head to take a shower and use your soap and shampoo. After that, you have a shave with your shave cream or put on your makeup after having cleaned your teeth with your toothbrush and toothpaste. You clean your eye glasses or put in your contact lenses before heading to the car to drop the kids off at school and daycare before heading to the office. Along the way, you stop at the gas station to fill your SUV with gasoline. At the daycare, you take your youngest out of the car seat. Once at work, you turn on your computer for the day. After work, you head to the gym for a relaxing session wearing your new yoga pants, or you grab a basketball and shoot a few hoops.

The daily items we use, and sometimes take for granted, are made possible because of the oil and gas industry.