First Halliburton Female Drilling Fluids Engineer in Pakistan – Asiya Abbasi

“Don’t give up when you are tired and don’t give up when you are done.”

My journey at Halliburton began soon after graduating from university. I received a call from Halliburton HR to set up an interview for a preliminary internship with the potential to become a full-time job. I went through multiple interviews and presentations before being hired. I always wanted to join the drilling engineering branch in petroleum engineering, and getting an opportunity in the Baroid drilling fluids product service line seemed like the perfect opportunity to give shape to my dream of working in the oil patch.

My first day on the job, I felt completely welcomed after meeting with the Baroid team, who seemed like tight-knit family. They welcomed me into that family and gave me a support system – this cemented my confidence in Halliburton. At the end of my year as an intern, I was selected out of many other candidates and offered a position as a field engineer. I would be the first woman hired for Baroid Pakistan. At first, this opportunity was overwhelming, but based on the exceptional support and confidence entrusted on me by the Halliburton team, and my passion for the field, it was easy to accept.

I have faced challenges over the past four years as the first female Drilling Fluids Engineer in Pakistan. Initially, it was difficult to convince people that I was as competent as my male counterparts were. Even wearing the standard rig coveralls was first met with skepticism. I had my fair share of down time when my requests to be part of the team at the rig site were rejected. However, I took it as the biggest challenge of my life, kept going and kept doing the work. I had a breakthrough and really felt that I finally proved myself when I received an “above and beyond” performance score on a complete hitch for a client. I received praise from both the client and Baroid teams, and after this, I played my part as a regular team member.

My successful journey continued when only one year into my career, my manager invited me to represent Halliburton Pakistan at our company’s annual conference where the top 1% of employees come together and discuss strategy. Later that year I visited Pakistan’s first ultra-deep offshore well, Kekra. In school, I was always the kind of student that wanted to achieve the highest marks, and this mindset continues to drive me. I recently achieved the top position at a competitive training course I attended for my company in Houston.

I want my story to be a positive example for women, and show them that not only can women work in the oil and gas industry, but also we can excel in it. I can proudly say that there has been a ripple effect in our location, where Halliburton is hiring more and more female engineers in all of our product service lines. We are making history.

Looking back at the past few years, I am proud of what I have achieved, despite the odds. Moreover, I look forward to growing my career exponentially with Halliburton in the future.  My advice to all the determined women in this industry is “Don’t give up when you are tired and don’t give up when you are done. Don’t ever give up!”

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