Oksana Kielbasinski

Consultant, Director Sustainability & Risk, Integrated Sustainability Consultants Ltd.

Describe a typical day

In the consulting field, there is no such thing as a typical day. As the manager of two teams—creator of the InSolutions brand (our Management Consulting division) and a water security specialist—there are many and varying functions which require dedicated time in a given day.

A typical workday may see me participate in strategy, professional or business development sessions, interface with clients and project teams, organize and run workshops, check in with my team, meet potential prospects, and/or execute and deliver projects. The list is endless and predictably unpredictable!
As one of the founding team members of a small business start-up, which has now grown into a much larger organization, I have worn, and continue to wear, many different hats in the 5 years that I have been with the organization. My job is extremely dynamic, which makes every day both challenging and exciting.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

Truthfully, there are so many perks of my job; it is difficult to name them all! However, one of the biggest has to be the level of autonomy which I have been given to simply create. At my company, we are continuously challenged to think differently than the status quo, re-vamp procedures and processes, and push the boundaries of what can be accomplished in our industry. I am very fortunate to work at a company which provides young entrepreneurs the freedom to really push themselves, innovate and explore new ways of doing things.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

Recently, I had the opportunity to build a new, separately branded, management consulting division within our company. The entire process – from idea conceptualization, design, development and finally, roll-out, was an incredible experience which allowed me to tap into both sides of my brain. Another one of my proudest accomplishments at work has been the leadership and successful execution of dozens of workshops with senior energy industry professionals. Through effectively curated conversation, we were able to tackle some of the challenging issues currently impacting the industry, in both the sustainability and the water security spaces.

My proudest accomplishment outside of work is the full-time job that raising my 4-month old son has become. While I have been very fortunate to have had an exciting and fulfilling professional career from a very young age, nothing compares with being a mom.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

With the unpredictable climate variability that Western Canada has experienced in the last few years, water challenges (i.e. limited water supply, re-use and storage constraints) have become a common topic of discussion for oil and gas producers. It has been encouraging to see the government, communities and industry leaders actively working together to overcome the regulatory, social and environmental hurdles that are still present with water re-use and produced water storage. However, it will take some time to reach a consensus on how to tackle these challenges and balance the needs of all stakeholders – some of whom have conflicting goals.

Current community involvement efforts.

I am the treasurer on the Board of Connecting Environmental Professionals (CEP), and have been with CEP for close to three years. It is a wonderful organization which, among other activities, hosts an engaging monthly speaker series focused on sustainability and the environment. In addition, I am an advisor to a Calgary-based charity called, Energy For All, which is dedicated to alleviating poverty by increasing people's access to clean water, renewable energy, and improved wastewater infrastructure. Energy For All runs both local educational programs, as well as international community development projects in Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Tanzania. Through their work, the organization’s volunteers have increased the quality of life of countless people in developing countries, while gaining a global perspective and useful skillset to boot. I encourage you to consider getting involved.

Why YWE?

While the face of the energy industry has changed dramatically in recent years, it is still – particularly at the senior levels – a male dominated business. YWE provides a network where women can support and learn from one another as they navigate their careers.
In my opinion, the organization has done an excellent job of attracting a high caliber member base and creating a nurturing, mutually supportive environment. There is no doubt in my mind that you will see a flood of great leaders emerge from underneath the YWE umbrella.

What are you reading?

I am currently on maternity leave with a 4-month old, so my current reading is Brain Rules for Babies, How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina. The author links the scientific world of baby brain development with that of real-world behaviors that parents can take to help nurture their children. As a first time parent, I’ve found it to be a fascinating read.