Memorial University of Newfoundland embarked on its first ever master's of oil and gas studies (MOGS) program on Jan. 12. This is a unique executive development program designed to prepare the emerging senior executive for effective leadership of their organization.
The non-thesis postgraduate degree is specifically designed for the high potential employee in preparation for the executive suite in the oil and gas industry, its service sector or relevant government agencies and departments. The curriculum will provide a thorough understanding of the critical issues of the entire industry including technical, economic, regulatory, environmental and socio-economic aspects. It is a modular program, spanning one year and combining short, intense on-campus learning with Internet-based learning during the offsite periods.
Gerrit Maureau, executive director of the Oil and Gas Development Partnership (OGDP) at Memorial, says the program provides a good balance of academically sound core studies and “best practice” industry-provided elective programs. “We are making leaders out of good managers; individuals with a clear understanding of the broad stakeholder issues, with firm ethical principles and with corporate strategic management skills so necessary for effective leadership.
“This program offers an intensive study of the entire petroleum industry spectrum that is essential to the development of potential executives who require broad understanding of a very complex industry. Memorial is positioning itself as a global centre of excellence for petroleum industry research and education. This is the leading edge of executive development - blending Memorial's academic expertise with industry expertise.”
Participants in the initial group have a variety of backgrounds. The five participants in the first round include an automation control engineer from China and three local participants, one is a facilities engineer, one is a tanker superintendent and one is a petroleum engineer. There is a fifth candidate from Calgary, who is an explorationist. “The small class size and cross-cultural experience is a very important ingredient of the program and will showcase the global exposure so important to productive relationships,” Mr. Maureau added. In order to qualify, applicants required an appropriate university education and/or experience in the industry; were clearly destined for a senior executive position in their parent organization; and had some eight to 12 years of experience, which included early management training.
The Oil and Gas Development Partnership, a multi-year initiative launched in 2000, was created to respond to the need for highly qualified individuals to work within the developing oil and gas industry and to lead the province in the areas of research and development.
Memorial University is the largest university in Atlantic Canada, and is rated as one of the top five comprehensive universities in Canada. Ideally located in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, a major centre for oil and gas operations on the Atlantic Margin, seat of provincial government and the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, the university is well positioned to form critical and important alliances with industry and governments alike. The university, which has a faculty complement of 900 academic staff and some 17,700 students, can lay claim to first class business, earth science and engineering programs.