Shell's Roxana Davis Shares Her Advice on How to Build a Rewarding Career

With a Shell career that spans 15 years and two continents, Roxana Davis, General Manager Integrated Gas Hydrocarbon Management, shares her advice for building a dynamic, international career and explains how her own career path has been characterised by a desire to build a growing portfolio of skills, and to keep the element of challenge ever present.

Throughout her career, Roxana has never shied away from taking career risks. With a good role in Shell’s Canadian Downstream office, a three-year-old at home and already making steady progress up the company ladder, she decided to make the move from downstream to heavy oil. Not only did it involve a move across the country, but a cultural and professional side step, too. In the expanse of Canada, changing cities is like changing countries. Roxana says "looking back it wasn’t that big, but at the time it felt like climbing Mount Everest."

Roxana Davis
Roxana Davis, General Manager Integrated Gas Hydrocarbon Management at Shell
Roxana Davis, General Manager Integrated Gas Hydrocarbon Management at Shell
Source: Shell

Be agile in making decisions; don’t be afraid to take career decision risks, that is how you grow

Roxana says of the move: “I was appointed as the business manager for a mega-site (the Scotford Upgrader) but at the time I knew nothing about working on a site and nothing about safety in the field. Of course, there were people who looked at me and thought: ‘Who is this woman from head office, and why is she coming here? She doesn’t even know what we do here’.”

But it’s moves like this and the challenges they bring that have been instrumental in her career development and job satisfaction, from building on her skills and knowledge to expanding her professional network. “Looking back over everything I’ve done, I’ve learned so much,” she says. “It’s got me to where I am today.”

Roxana has always looked to stretch herself in order to add to her portfolio of skills. In 2013 she decided to take another challenge when she accepted a global portfolio role in Singapore.


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Ikechukwu Onyegiri  |  September 29, 2014
Great tips Roxanne, building a portfolio of skills can never be over-emphasized. As a growing professional it's important to know a bit of a lot of things in your destinated industry.