OUR GREAT MINDS

Sean A. Delsnider

Sean A. Delsnider

Manager, Business Development & Project Finance - Gaffney, Cline & Associates

Growing up on the Saskatchewan prairies, Sean spent much of his free time as a competitive jazz musician, traveling with various groups throughout Canada, the United States, and overseas. Through taking on a parallel role as manager for one of the groups, he realized his passion for commerce, which subsequently led him to the Paul J. Hill School of Business at the University of Regina where he completed an undergraduate degree in finance. Familiar with Calgary through regular family visits, Sean became captivated by the city’s culture and opportunities. Once settled in Calgary, Sean entered the energy industry as an employee of Shell.

After gaining valuable analytical and industry experience within the Trading and Upstream Finance groups at Shell, Sean accepted a role with Gaffney, Cline & Associates; the reservoir consulting division of Baker Hughes. As Manager of Business Development & Project Finance, he is responsible for economic analysis and project structuring, in addition to generating new business within the Canadian market.

Sean thrives off of his involvement in various organizations throughout the city of Calgary and has always been a strong advocate for playing an active role in the community. He was recently appointed president of the Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) Calgary Chapter, and holds committee positions with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Calgary Stampede. Aside from work and community involvement, Sean can be found at the gym, traveling, or spending time with family and friends.

We asked Sean:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Sean: Sustainability represents the opportunity to make an impact, the need for continuous improvement, and the pride in not only meeting, but exceeding heightened environmental, social, and safety standards. It is evident that the world will continue to rely on hydrocarbons as its primary source of energy for the foreseeable future, and production will only continue to increase.

The key to managing the growth in global energy demand is two-fold: continuing to research feasible renewable energy sources, while leveraging innovative technologies to ensure the development of hydrocarbon resources is socially and environmentally sound.

The OGM: Have you ever had a mentor?

Sean: I have had the benefit of encountering many people in my life that have served as mentors, both formally and informally.

I wouldn’t want to limit myself to only one mentor. Mentorship can come in many forms and in all aspects of your life. Finding someone who inspires and teaches you is the key to a meaningful experience.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Sean: Success for me comes in three aspects of life: business, personal, and community. I have always held myself to a high standard. My goal of becoming an industry leader serves as my determination to building a vast network and unyielding knowledge base.

My drive to becoming an industry leader is met only by my desire to be a great husband, son, and father. Family has always been extremely important to me and will continue to be a priority.

In terms of community, I have always been an advocate for giving back to your community—Calgary, in my mind, is one of the greatest places on earth to live, and I hope to contribute to its greatness throughout my life. From what I have been told, it all comes down to prioritization and time management. Should I be lucky enough to maintain balance in all three, I’ll consider myself successful.

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

Sean: Dynamic. Demanding. Gratifying.

The OGM: What advice would you give someone looking for a career in the energy industry?

Sean: What are you waiting for? The energy industry is one of the most dynamic industries out there—fulfilling nearly any opportunity one could desire. However, persistence is the key to entering what will most definitely prove to be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career, as the energy industry can be fairly difficult to break into at first.

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

Sean: A post-secondary education provides you with the aptitude to learn, embrace change, and to thrive in your chosen field of study. What it does not provide is direction on how to employ “soft skills,” stakeholder engagement techniques, and the ability to navigate organizational politics—three very important, almost imperative attributes in an effective leader. In my opinion, these lessons can only be learned through trial and error, and I have had the benefit of working on a multitude of diverse and high-exposure teams, where I have been able to experience this firsthand.

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

Sean: In today’s society, technology plays an integral part in any industry—we rely on technology to help us make key business decisions.

The OGM: What do the next five years of your career look like?

Sean: I hope to continue growing as both a person and as a professional, and plan to obtain my Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and an MBA in the next few years. With aspirations of becoming an Investor Relations professional, I hope to obtain roles of increasing depth and breadth, with the ability to learn more about the technical aspect of the business. I will most definitely approach every opportunity seriously and ensure I take advantage of every open door.

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

Sean: I think originally it was the city of Calgary that caught my attention more than the industry itself. However, energy is a major aspect of Calgary’s identity; it presented me with many options and a wide array of opportunities. I truly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in energy?

Sean: What keeps me in the industry is the ability to make a difference in the world. The energy industry is on the constant pursuit of making itself better, cleaner, and more effective. Every day poses a new challenge and adventure, and that’s what keeps me engaged.

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

Sean: One of the most important lessons I have learned came from my grandfather, Douglas R. Osborne, having been a successful business leader in his lifetime, in addition to [being] one of the most influential people in my life. He taught me that a successful business leader not only concerns his or herself with delivering value to their stakeholders, but in parallel finds meaningful ways to give back to the community. My grandfather has always ensured that he has enhanced the lives of the people and communities his business has affected. Enlightened by this concept, my career path, thus far, has enabled me to progress not only from a purely business-driven standpoint, but also from a broader perspective through the advocacy of equally important community pursuits.

The OGM: What does energy mean to you?

Sean: Energy provides us our primary means of life.

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

Sean: I’d say my favorite app would have to be Pulse. The ability to consolidate multiple media sources allows us to stay up-to-date without having to spend all day reading multiple publications.

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

Sean: I think there are so many great things happening within the Millennial Generation. We’re extremely concerned with the longevity, sustainability, and reputation of our industry, not afraid to take chances, and we openly embrace innovation and change. I have faith we will continue to tackle the world’s energy challenges, and ensure our children and grandchildren have clean, reliable, and sustainable sources of energy throughout their lives.

The OGM: What is your take on social media and our ever-changing world?

Sean: I wouldn’t consider myself social media savvy, but recognize the importance of it in today’s society with regard to keeping people continuously informed. I think it is playing an ever-increasing role in influencing global discourse and sentiment around social, business, and political matters.

The OGM: What social medium do you use on a daily basis?

Sean: I utilize a couple of different social mediums, namely Facebook and LinkedIn. That’s the fastest way to get information and to give it as well.

The OGM: What do you think of social recruiting?

Sean: Social recruiting has become an increasingly important tool for companies trying to obtain and retain the best talent. The use of social recruiting is especially useful for attracting passive job-seekers, as it advertises on everyday social mediums instead of traditional job boards and corporate websites.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Sean: I am so passionate about the energy industry because of the constant challenge and opportunity to make an impact. You’re not one person in this field; you’re one more idea, one more solution. It also comes down to a moral obligation and a social responsibility. In energy, you have to ask yourself, how you can make things runs smoother, cleaner, and greener. It’s about efficiency as much as it’s about production. It’s about growth as well as preservation.

I have the opportunity to contribute something bigger than myself by working in an ever-expanding and adapting industry, providing endless diverse and unique opportunities on a global scale.

We’re powering the world.

 

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