Marise Higgs

Business Development Marketing & Events Specialist, Saxon Energy Services Inc.

Born in London (England not Ontario), and raised in Montreal. Returned to the UK and graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Archaeology and Prehistory. Starting as office manager with Schlumberger it soon became apparent that my skills didn’t rest in running the office but entertaining the office. I became Event’s Coordinator and moved up to Marketing and Events Manager working for such organizations as Ernst & Young, The Royal College of Physicians, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and the Investor Relations Society. In 2008, I returned to Canada, following my heart.

Three years later it was still the best decision I ever made, and not just because of my sweetie. Working for Saxon in their business development team has been the most enjoyable position I’ve had, and it only promises to become more interesting, more exciting, and more challenging. A wanderer by nature, Calgary has given me the opportunity to put down roots and grow both personally and professionally.

We asked Marise:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Marise: Sustainability to me means growth, innovation and adaptation. If we’re talking about the environment, you have to add protection too. At Saxon protection of the environment we work in is a brand promise. Our new rigs have very small footprints, their electric and they are highly mobile without causing damage in some of the most unforgiving terrains.

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

Marise: No; but personally I’ve been very lucky to have had had some amazing managers throughout my career who have helped and guided me.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Marise: A sense of achievement; we have a very open and honest culture at Saxon that allows anyone to have an impact on the organizations running and success.

The OGM: If you were to describe your career in three words what would they be?

Marise: Progressive, creative, and constantly evolving.

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the Energy Industry?

Marise: Worldwide the energy industry is a tight-knit community always looking for new blood to help shake things up. If you are prepared to work hard, the energy industry is prepared to reward that hard work.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

Marise: The day I that I moved into marketing; providing the public, your clients and investors, with your organizations brand promises is a big responsibility. It can also be a lot of fun!

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

Marise: When I moved to Canada in December 2008 I couldn’t have timed it worse to look for a job. Christmas and a global economic melt-down, and it was snowing!

The OGM: What impact does Technology have on your career?

Marise: I think technology is vital to anyone’s career. Saxon provides their clients with innovative drilling solutions through advanced technology rigs, and my career is dependent on that technology being in demand within our industry. On a daily basis I think we have to embrace new technologies because they are changing the way we do our jobs.

The OGM: What do the next 5 years look like in your career?

Marise: I would very much hope to still be with Saxon in 5 years. It’s very exciting time for the company with unprecedented growth, and I want to be on the front line communicating that to our clients around the globe.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in Energy?

Marise: Actually I started as an archaeologist, so I always had an interest in geology, but what really attracted me to energy was the “controversy”. Here is an industry on which the whole world is reliant, and yet is still so mistrusted and often downright hated. I wanted to work not just to change people’s perceptions, but also help better the industry standards through quality, health, safety and environment initiatives.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the Energy industry?

Marise: To me the energy industry has always felt like a community, and as an area that I enjoy working in, sustaining a career seems like a real no-brainer.

The OGM: Do you have a role model you look up to?

Marise: Tony Stark (aka Iron Man); CEO of Stark Industries – genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.

The OGM: What does Energy mean to you?

Marise: Life.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

WhatsApp; it lets me talk to my whole family through a messenger-type system, no matter where they are, for free. I just have to remember the seven hour time difference.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the Energy industry?

Marise: They seem to be very good at communicating openly and honestly. The energy industry needs this kind of input. Anything that can educate and inform people about what we do, and why we do it, can only be a good thing.

The OGM: What’s your take on Social Media and our ever changing digital world?

Marise: Personally I like it, and I use it every day. In terms of business I think it gives organizations a fantastic way to communicate with audiences and potential clients they might never have reached. The downside is that nothing is private on the internet, and once it’s out there, you can’t bring it back. It’s something that an organization needs to put a lot of thought into, before getting into.

The OGM: What Social Medium do you use on a daily basis?

Marise: Twitter; I love the immediate information from the news, and the hilarious updates from my brother, sister, and cousins. It makes me feel connected.

The OGM: Do you use Social Media for work?

Marise: Not at the moment, as a private company we have tended to be just that, private. Recently though we have discussed the merits of it as a means of internal communications with our employees – anything we can do to make them feel more connected and part of the Saxon community is always beneficial.

The OGM: What do you think of Social Recruiting?

Marise: I think using social mediums such as Linkedin are a great way to identify potential employees. It ensures that the you are looking at the right people with the right skill sets for your organization.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Marise: Anything that keeps me entertained, challenged, focused and happy is worth sticking with. My role and my organization provide me with just that; and I’m sure they still have more to come.

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