From the days of sweeping floors and painting pipes as a young man in the oil and gas industry, John Donachie has seen his career soar.
The partner and head of corporate finance with Pareto Securities Limited won the Offshore Achievement Awards Rising Star accolade in 2004.
He was responsible for creating the Young Professionals section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers which has now become a global network for people to meet.
Donachie created the forum with the intent of education and bringing forward young talent in the sector.
He said being nominated for the award had been a “fantastic honour” and described the awards as the Oscars of the oil and gas industry.
Donachie said: “At the time as a young guy, this was 11 years ago, it represented quite an honour. Receiving recognition amongst the leadership and your peers across the entire North Sea oil and gas industry was quite an achievement – even to just be nominated and shortlisted was just fantastic.
“I had started to establish what at the time was called the emerging leaders programme. It was then called the Young Professionals for the Society of Petroleum Engineers so establishing that
in Aberdeen with the intent of educating and bringing forward the young talent and also allowing people of similar ages to network.
“There hadn’t been anything done like that in Aberdeen before. I got sponsorship from the SPE and we took that forward to one social event per month but also one technical event per month and skills development per month. I started it on my own and eventually had a committee of about 10 people.
“Subsequently the SPE has fully internationalised the agenda across 110,000 members and I ended up on the SPE board of directors.
“At the time this was the embryo of something that became quite part of the full agenda. It was very exciting.
“There were pockets of young professional movements in Italy and the Gulf Coast of Mexico but really that was it, Aberdeen and the Gulf of Mexico section and then the Italian section. That germinated into what it was today.”
He said despite the decline in oil price over the past year, the industry will continue to need talent and people looking to get into the industry will need “to be flexible”.
Donachie added: “I said this before that people need to be mobile they need to be flexible in the type of the work they’re going to do.
“When I started in the industry I literally was sweeping floors and painting bits of pipe. Don’t be shy about just rolling up your sleeves and getting after it.
“I think this is a very challenging market, people are leaving the industry not entering them. There will be plenty of talented graduates that will be coming through for opportunities locally and internationally but I think you’ve just got to be very flexible, very robust, but don’t just do an academic path.
“Also choose to be a networker, a professional developer, be actively out in the market creating your own mark in the industry. In your own right or start your own business.
“I’ve got a very exciting career and I’ve travelled to about 80 countries which is a huge amount of travel.
“It’s not all just airports and meeting rooms. From that perspective I’ve had a really the luxury of being able to see the world throughout my career but also just to meet some fantastic talented people, very driven, very enthusiastic, very motivated and commercially and technically savvy people that are driving our industry forward.”