Senior Project Secretary, Wood Group Kenny, Houston Sylvia Jones swapped the classroom for the boardroom, but has shown that a career change doesn’t mean going back to the drawing board.

Transitioning from teaching precalculus to teenagers to working on large scale oil and gas projects was a significant step, but the Houston-based senior project secretary is relishing the opportunity to apply her talents in a new arena.

“Teaching requires accountability, organization, self-motivation and adaptability, as well as the ability to effectively work with a wide variety of personalities,” she says. “Project secretary work requires those same skills. I left teaching because I wanted to tackle a new challenge more related to my interest in math since I have a bachelor’s degree in that subject rather than education. Oddly enough, teaching math is quite often not math-related!”

Thunder Horse is one of the projects Sylvia has supported. Wood Group Kenny was involved in subsea pipeline remediation work for the BP asset - a large semi-submersible production facility. Sylvia’s untapped potential was spotted by her managers when she joined on a temporary admin assignment three years ago. “Although my manager was very busy at the time with projects, he provided me with an insight into subsea engineering which piqued my interest. I didn’t know about oil and gas before and it is fascinating to learn about the innovative technology we use. I look forward to increasing my knowledge of new developments in this rapidly-evolving industry.”