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Always growing, always supported: Esmira’s story

19 May 2020
As a female engineer, Esmira’s career at bp has enabled her to grow both personally and professionally, while always feeling supported by her family, teammates and colleagues

Looking back, Esmira was always meant to be an engineer. “When I was at school, I enjoyed maths, physics and chemistry. And at home, I loved building and repairing old radios, tape recorders and clocks that my grandparents had given me. All of this directly influenced my decision to go into engineering.” 


When Esmira got older, she applied to the Azerbaijan State University of Oil and Industry, where she got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Technological Machinery and Equipment Engineering. She then applied to bp, where after completing the Petro Technical Resource Entry Programme and the Challenger Programme, she is now a project engineer working in category B. 


Part of something bigger


Esmira is currently working on a gas lift project where she manages the interface between multiple bp teams, sub-contractors and vendors. Day to day, Esmira communicates with many stakeholders to solve issues, which is one of the things she loves about her job. She explains: “being a project engineer is so much more than a technical role: it’s about knowing who the best people to talk to are, and knowing what needs to be done to keep things moving.”


Reflecting on her work, Esmira is proud of being able to provide value – to herself, to bp and to Azerbaijan.

I love the feeling of being part of something big! The first project I worked on, Shah Deniz 2, was the first project where we built a subsea infrastructure in Azerbaijan. It was also a very special project for bp as we connected to Europe by gas lines from the reservoir. It’s amazing to be part of something so important.

Learning to appreciate life offshore


Esmira admits that at first, working offshore wasn’t easy – especially as a woman in an environment dominated by men. “When you work onshore, you can go home at the end of the day. But you can’t do that offshore. And you’re surrounded by the same group of people 24/7,” she explains.  


But in hindsight, Esmira highlights that working offshore was great for her professional development. 

With the support of my colleagues and my family, I found my confidence and got used to being offshore. And when I went back onshore, I actually found it all very slow compared to offshore life!

Growing personally and professionally


Esmira explains that her career at bp has enabled her to grow both personally and professionally. “When I joined bp, I was really shy. But people saw something in me and gave me greater responsibilities, which meant that I had to step up, share my opinions and take ownership”, she recalls. 


From developing soft skills and technical project management skills to improving her English, Esmira’s time at bp has enabled her to grow a lot, while always feeling supported.

From my first day at bp, I have had a lot of good people around me. They all believed in my knowledge and in my willingness to learn and improve every day.

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