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Energy Workforce & Technology Council 90th Anniversary
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Faces of the Energy Workforce: High-Performer Spotlight, Alex Padron, ProPetro Services

Alex Padron, IT Manager, for ProPetro Services, is a graduate and a current participant of the Energy Workforce Executive Leadership Program. He recently shared his insights on the energy services and technology sector.

Energy Workforce: What is your role with the company? What are your core responsibilities? What does a typical day look like?

AP: As the manager responsible for ProPetro’s IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, end-user support, and field communications systems, my typical day involves engagement with direct reports, vendors, and internal customers to work on projects related to new system implementations, optimization of existing systems, creating efficiencies through automation, improving our cybersecurity posture, enabling our field operations systems to communicate with HQ, and ensuring employees have the right technology tools to do their job. My overall goal is to leverage technology effectively to meet organizational needs.

EW: Why did you join the energy industry? Was there an individual who influenced your decision? Was there an event or piece of technology that got you excited?

AP: Energy plays a major part of our daily lives, making it a stable industry to work in. I think the energy sector occupies a prominent role as a driver of innovation and change geared toward improving our overall quality of life. The same can be said about technology. I think the future is filled with great opportunities in both domains and I am happy to have a role where I can make contributions toward that future.

EW: What individual has been most instrumental in helping with your career? What did their mentorship look like and how did it guide your path?

AP: Early in my career, I would listen closely to any advice from the tenured and seasoned employees I worked with. Their war stories were entertaining, but also filled with lessons learned. To this day I enjoy hearing about what others have learned and am happy to share my own mistakes, and lessons learned from them, to new employees who will give an ear to it.

EW: What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?

AP: I would only see the price at the pump. I have learned there is a lot of hard work, and many hard-working people, behind many of the luxuries we take for granted (like gasoline). I am thankful to those people and the work they do!

EW: What has surprised you most about the industry? 

AP: Petroleum doesn’t just produce gasoline, it is included in many other products such as makeup, wax, crayons, candles, plastics, rubber, and many more.

EW: Where do you hope to see the industry develop over the next five years?

AP: I hope the energy and technology industries will grow and merge in areas that will provide a more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly way to fuel our daily lives. Individually, both are great industries; however, things like Ai, autonomous systems, and electric motors, could be game changers.

EW: What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future? 

AP: I hope to have a key role where innovation meets energy and technology. There are many tools out there just waiting to be adopted by the industry.

EW: How has your involvement in Energy Workforce supported your career goals? 

AP: The Executive Leadership Program has provided opportunities to interact with like-minded professionals, coaches, and mentors, who have provided valuable insight. Some of these seasoned professionals have already walked the path I am currently on and I enjoy learning about how they tackled challenges similar to those I face today. The guest speakers are seasoned industry experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience, these are the people I enjoy learning from.

EW: What’s a technology or innovation you’ve seen in the sector that impressed you?

AP: During one of the training events, I was impressed to learn about the different types of offshore rigs; how they move about and operate above or below water, and with oceanic forces pushing and pulling on them constantly…pretty cool stuff.

EW: What advice would you give someone just getting started in the energy industry?

AP: Learn the terminology early on, the industry has its own vocabulary. Also, regardless of your specific role, learn the high-level process (i.e., upstream, midstream, downstream) so you understand the overall flow of things.

EW: What do you do for fun or what’s your idea of a perfect vacation?

AP: I play with tech gadgets, of course! From Apple devices to virtual reality (VR) and video gaming. Vacation? I love visiting new places, watching Broadway-style shows, or spending time outside…preferably on a hammock!

EW: What’s a fun fact people would never guess about you?

AP: I grew up in the Boy Scouts and spent a good amount of time in the great outdoors. I used to be a portrait and wedding photographer. I am currently learning to play golf, it’s harder than I thought!

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