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At 36 years old, Nii Ahele Nunoo has already had an expansive career across the oil and gas industry. After spending a significant amount of time at NOV as an electrical engineering designer, he worked his way up to senior associate at KPMG where he provides expertise on understanding the energy value chain.
“I had the opportunity to work for National Oilwell Varco as an electrical engineering designer designing downhole dynamic drilling tools for their closed-loop automation system,” he said. “I thought it was an exciting way to start my career, and so I went for it.”
Originally from Accra, Ghana, Nunoo now lives in Houston as he serves as senior associate with KPMG.
“Transitioning from engineering to the field in two years, my perseverance and inquisitive nature of understanding the upstream value chain pushed me to ask management to place me in positions that will harness my engineering tool kit and provide value to operations.
Getting the opportunity to work with field engineers in North Dakota, understand their day-to-day challenges, drill wells during the cold winters, and still have the right attitude towards work is something I will not forget."
Facing challenges head-on
“In consulting, every project comes with its challenges. I worked on a 5-week project that was quite stressful. We had to deliver and prove value in a short time; getting our internal team to sync, understand the client's need, and provide value in that timeframe was challenging. With clear communication and great leadership, we could provide value, and the client was impressed. I accomplished my goal of being fully present and giving my best, and so after the project, I took two weeks off to reset and get ready for my next project."
Developing leadership skills
“My job as a leader is to make sure I take the obstacles from the way so my team will deliver results. In my role at NOV, I worked with a few electrician technicians. My job every day was to make sure they had what they needed to do their work and cleared obstacles every day to make sure that they felt part of the team and could be productive.
I have developed as a professional through mentors in the industry. I am also a firm believer that experience is the best teacher. Spending time with my mentors and teachers talking through issues and challenges have tremendously helped shape my life and my path to leadership."
“Helping solve and supply the world's energy needs [keeps me motivated about working in the oil and gas industry]. You work with people from all over the world, with different backgrounds and expertise. To me, it's a global family.
Short-term goals are to build on my consulting tool kit and become good at consulting.
Long-term goal is to become a partner at KPMG.
Those under 40 grew up in a different world, we bring a different perspective to the table, ability to critically think and problem solve leveraging on diversity of thought, industry expertise and culture is what we bring to the table.
It's a small industry; treat everyone with respect. Embrace the energy transition. Open our doors and leverage other industries to advance technologically."
Three More Things
- Before oil & gas, I used to work in the casino gaming industry.
- As a native of Ghana, I was inspired to consider a career in the oil and gas industry after watching the movie "Big Men" produced by Brad Pitt.
- After reading "Frackers" by Gregory Zerkerman, I was inspired by Aubrey McClendon and chose Duke Fuqua School of Business as the top choice for my MBA.