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Energy Workforce & Technology Council 90th Anniversary
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Faces of the Energy Workforce: High-Performer Spotlight, Joanna Coles, PRT Offshore

Joanna Coles, Quality Manager, for PRT Offshore, is a graduate of the Energy Workforce Executive Leadership Program. She 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?

JC: As PRT Offshore’s Quality Manager, I oversee the maintenance and continuous improvement of our Quality Management System. This ensures we continue our QMS certifications for API Q2 and ISO 9001. I am also responsible for managing and overseeing PRT Offshore’s fleet of fixed assets. With these responsibilities, a typical day for me can include anything from a shop/yard walkthrough to the review and approval of MOCs and NCRs and inventory review.

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?

JC: Throughout my career, I’ve found that sometimes, bad advice and poor leadership can shape your career. I once had a manager tell me, “Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to sacrifice your home life for your role here.” That was a turning point for me in determining that I wasn’t where I needed to be, and it actually led me back to the energy industry.

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

JC: Prior to joining the energy industry, I perceived it as cutthroat and difficult to navigate. Now that I’ve been a part of it for about 15 years, I can certainly say that it is a family like no other. While highly competitive and fast-paced, it’s mostly made up of people who care about their peers and are eager to share their knowledge.

EW: Who are one or two individuals you’ve met while working in the industry who have impacted your thinking? (Not necessarily a mentor or someone from your company. It could be someone you’ve met at an Energy Workforce event whose approach or way of thinking affected yours.)

JC: My first supervisor at my first energy industry job completely changed my mindset. He taught me to always seek to learn and ask a lot of questions. I also learned the importance of servant leadership in the quality field; using my role to help my co-workers do their jobs more easily and more accurately has certainly helped me in every role I’ve had since working for him.

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

JC: Being in quality, watching the industry turn the corner to paperless solutions, both onshore and offshore, has been exciting. At the beginning of my career, both in and out of the energy sector, I would have never thought it would be possible to maintain flawless service quality without a physical paper trail. Seeing companies have an entirely digital system shows how far we’ve come.

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

JC: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Those who have come before you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that they are more than likely eager to share. No matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn.

EW: What do you do for fun?

JC: Outside of work, my focus is definitely on my family and friends. Whether it’s visiting my older daughter at college, watching my younger daughter play sports, or going out to dinner with my husband and friends, there’s nothing more fun than being surrounded by people you love.

EW: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?

JC: Going somewhere I’ve never been where I can have a good mix of downtime and exploring where I am!

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