Describe a time when you took a great risk and what was the outcome.
C. Describe a time when you took a great riskWhat was the outcome?Idowu Kareem
Nigeria and the Oil IndustryMy story started 8 years ago in 2005 in my country Nigeria.Nigeria is the world’s 5th largest producer of oil (2.5 million bbl/day) and 6thlargest exporter of crude (2.05 million bbl/day).Oil and gas generate 76% of the Nigerian federal-government revenue.Working in an oil and gas industry in my country is one of the greatestopportunities anyone could have. I was really Lucky to start my career early in1995 after my graduation from the university.
Nigeria, Oil and MeBeginning in 1995, I worked for ten years as a subsurface geologist, monitoringwell drilling and handling well-sitting operations, for Nigerian Agip Oil CompanyLtd (NAOC), Eni business unit, Lagos, Nigeria.It was good work but unchallenging. I wanted to get beyond exploration, but myCV wouldn’t let me. I needed new knowledge, new skills.In 2005 decided to take a leap. I would quit my job and apply for the master’sprogram in petroleum geology at University of Aberdeen, Scotland.It was a big risk. I had just been promoted to senior operations geologist andthen learned that NAOC would sponsor my master’s the following year. But I hadalready decided to sponsor myself.
Tuition exceeded £12,000.When I resigned, in July 2005, I was paid the gratuity forthe full period of my employment (10 years of service)But in Leaving My Job, How to Pay?
The RisksTHE RISKSLeaving my comfort zone and going from known to unknown.This was a great challenge and fear within me. Even though Iwas really determined within me that I was going to succeedno matter what happen. Leaving my high paying job for myeducation without pay (even a penny) for the period of mystudy was challenging.The Risk – Reward analysis was done but still remained with fear but remembered thesaying by Robert Kennedy “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”I was motivated to take my decision without much dwelling on my failure.Leaving a solid, permanentposition in a major industry;incurring debt; entering long-term unemployment.Expanding myeducation, improvingmy CV, opening doorsto management andhigher positions,earning higher salaries,speeding up careergrowth.
Fear of staying out of employment for 1-2 years Risk of not getting immediate employment after theMaster program in the United Kingdom: I was not sure ofgetting employment immediately after my program becauseof the job employment competition in the UK during 2005-2006. It was a great concern for me when I was taken mydecision.The Risks in Perspective I had a wife and three children. I would have less money and less time for them. My family too would have to adjust to Aberdeen. By using it for tuition and accommodations, I was using up my gratuity in one fell swoop. I was taking my leap during a worldwide financial crisis. Competition for jobs was high.RISKS NOT MINE ALONE
The story of my great risk started 8 years ago…………THE REWARDSSuccessfully completed my Master degree from theUniversity of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.Luckily for me, got three (3) employment offers prior to mygraduation in November 2006.Decided to work for the best company of all the three (3)offers (Eni International Resources Limited, London) which is thesubsidiary of Eni Exploration and Production recruiting forexpatriate.The journey to my reward started when I rejoined my ex-company through the international subsidiary in London whereI was seconded to the HQ in Milan Italy.I worked in Italy for 3 ½ years where I contributed to thesuccess of the exploration group (Angola). My performance wasrecognized and was promoted from Exploration Geophysicist toExploration Project leader within 3 years.
The ROI of Calculated Risk-Taking is always positiveTHE REWARDSHaving completed 3 ½ years of international experienceabroad after being exposed to lots of experience, I wasoffered an opportunity to return to my country of origin(Nigeria) to assume a position of a Manager. This was aPROMOTION which would not have happened if I was inNigeria.Precisely after 5 years, I became a Manager in charge ofonshore exploration activities in Nigeria. After 1 year 8months, I was appointed as the Deputy Exploration DivisionManager overseeing geophysical and operations geologyactivities in Nigeria.If I did not take the risk I took in 2005, it would have takenme more than 15 years to be where I am today.This rapid growth and career progression opportunity wouldnot have come my way if I had not taken the RISK to invest inmy self, leave the company and pursue my education for selfdevelopment.Career Progression
Outcome• Obtained master’s degree• Received three job offers before graduation• Was rehired, with a higher post (deputyexploration division manager) and a highersalary, by my former company.• Gave my family the opportunity to explore anew culture
ROI, or Calculated Risk-Taking• My leap, in career terms, saved me fifteenyears of life• I had set a definite goal• I knew the stakes, what I could lose• I talked it over with everyone involved,especially my family• I worked hard and pulled throughThanks to this experience, I got more confident to take decisions and acceptthe consequences of my decisions, for better or worse.