While interest in energy industry careers among female students may be below desired levels, it’s trending in the right direction thanks to events such as the Shell-sponsored “Energize Your Destiny,” held twice annually at locations in Texas and Louisiana.

The most recent event was held in partnership with San Jacinto College, which is based in Pasadena, Texas, and has multiple campuses across the Houston region. Students from several nearby school districts attended.

“Energize Your Destiny – TX brings together a diverse group of female students to make them aware of the energy industry and energize them about future career opportunities. It was exciting to see the female students with interests beyond our primary focus of process technology and into areas such as engineering, artificial intelligence and drone operations,” said Shell Workforce Development Advisor Crystal Lovelady-Jackson, who added that approximately 100+ students typically attend Energize Your Destiny events each year from various Career Technical Education Programs in the community. “The students really engaged and related to Christina Smith, who delivered the keynote speech because she was able to translate how everyday tasks impact the energy industry.”

‘It is OK to dream bigger’

Smith, currently the Shell Deer Park Chemicals’ Ensure Safe Production (ESP) Focal Point, shared her story of working hard at numerous jobs but never getting ahead. “I am not in any way being disrespectful to my past or those jobs – that was hard, honest work,” she said. “My message to you is that it is OK to dream bigger than I did back then.”

The turning point for Smith came when – as her daughter was recovering from emergency brain surgery – she was laid off. Wasting no time, she went to the community college and found a program for process technology, which provided a career for her and a comfortable lifestyle for her family.

Graduating with highest honors, Smith joined Shell Deer Park’s first intern class and was hired in 2011 as an operator working in the field. For the lastt eight years she served as a Production Team Leader and became the Ensure Safe Production Focal Point for the site earlier this year.

“What is my inspirational message I want to share with you? You can start your dream now. You don’t have to struggle. You don’t have to just get by.” Smith said. “You are the future and I am here to tell you that the opportunities for you are endless. You can have an impact on the future by working in the energy industry.

Learn more about Shell scholarships and career opportunities.

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