Amanda Wilkie

Amanda Wilkie

Business Development Lead, Frontier Engineering Corp

Describe a typical day

I work for a petroleum engineering company where I am responsible for sales, marketing, communications and IT. I spend the majority of my time researching companies, current affairs and trends in energy, growth opportunities for the company, and developing relationships and promoting Frontier. I also recently completed a corporate rebranding and new website development, which was a fun project.

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

I love connecting with people so the sales aspect is a great fit for me personality-wise. I believe mentorship is crucial, and my President is supportive of young talent. Coming from a non-technical background, I appreciate the opportunity to learn about the technical aspects of my company’s operations.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

Improving energy and political literacy are two of my ongoing goals. Upon completing my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science I understood the impact government, politics and public policy have on both the energy industry and our individual lives. I realized that being absent or excluded from the process is not an option when the consequences are so high and that my generation needs to assert ourselves, so I have worked in various political capacities over the past five years. From this experience, and in combination with my passion for young professional’s engagement, I have initiated successful outreach strategies and look forward to continuing to building on these.

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

Engineering is at the heart of what industry critics attack; essentially, critics are saying our engineers are not capable. Individually, we may work in the oil and gas industry but when we leave the office or a well site we are still Albertans and Canadians who care about our environment, neighbors and quality of life. I believe we need to take it upon ourselves individually to learn, inform others and protect the reputation of our industry and the vast social benefit it provides. We should not rely on or expect the government to do these things for us, nor solely the senior leadership teams of our companies. CAPP quotes 420,000 Albertans are employed directly or indirectly in oil and gas – we all have a responsibility to our fellow citizens to ensure facts and truth trump uninformed rhetoric.

Current community involvement efforts.

Young professionals outreach is what I am most passionate about, primarily in improving energy and political literacy, and connecting people with each other for our individual goals and leadership aspirations. I am very active politically, and excited for the future of our province in this regard because of Premier Jim Prentice’s vocal and consistent support for young Albertans getting involved. I supported a young woman in in the oil and gas industry from Grande Prairie, Terri Beaupre, who became the President of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party in November 2014. I believe we are seeing a generational shift in Alberta, which is gaining momentum, and I look forward to being a catalyst for this positive change and encouraging and supporting others who are interested in the public policy process at any level of involvement. I believe mentorship is crucial and I hope to be a positive example of young women in politics to encourage others to get involved and make a positive difference too.

Why YWE?

I believe YWE has tapped into the need for an organization like this – young women sharing our experiences as we are living and learning from them, and supporting each other as we aspire to leadership roles. I also believe like attracts like, which is what YWE is doing. Though YWE is founded in peer-to-peer mentoring, I have viewed it more as an opportunity to meet women I have a lot in common with and who also want to be supportive of other young women. I have met with over 80 members of YWE since joining in June 2014, usually over coffee at first, and I continue to reach out to more because every woman I have met has been smart, funny, interesting and ambitious. I want to do my part to strengthen the YWE network by connecting the women I have met to one another as well. I encourage all YWE members to go through the Members Directory, check out the profiles, and invite someone to go for coffee.

What are you reading?

The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown