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A passion for petroleum pays off - Zilper Abong’o MEI
Zilper has been interested in energy since the age of 17, particularly in global markets, supply chain and petroleum. Whilst at university she decided to consolidate her interests and join the Petroleum Institute of East Africa’s educational unit for a Professional Diploma in Petroleum Management to run alongside her undergraduate classes. In 2012 she became a Clean Oils Physical Trader.
Combined with her high ambition, Zilper believes her success was nurtured by the mentors who supported her both in her academia and later her career. She also had a string of highly supportive managers, mostly female, who held her hand during the journey. These connections helped Zilper to make some important career decisions, raise her profile in oil & gas, and encouraged her to succeed in the energy sector, an often-daunting prospect for young females.
Today, Zilper works for Kenya Pipeline Company Ltd, a state-owned infrastructure and supply chain corporation serving the East-Central African markets. As Customer Relations and Marketing Manager, she heads a department under the Strategy Division and leads a team of 23. Additionally, as part of their transition fuel strategy, Zilpa is engaged with the Government of Kenya to scale up the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to increase access and affordability. What she loves most about her role is that she is making a real impact in driving the strategic agenda for her country. Not just that – she also loves the day to day interaction with policy makers and the opportunities that arise to grow her professional network.
“I applied to be a Member of the Energy Institute (MEI) because the Energy Institute network is so vital in helping you to grow. Learning from those whose careers are more seasoned than mine, and understanding their journeys is significant in learning how to keep navigating my own journey,” explained Zilpa. She advises that those starting out in energy should keep their network fresh and impactful through professional memberships and a strong knowledge base, and that technical aptitude is very critical to your growth within the energy sector. “Being an MEI was essential to this process. I have gained more global and socio-professional recognition (through LinkedIn) since my MEI status, as well as visibility within my niche. I encourage all non-members and Associate Members I come across to take the time to apply for MEI.”
In her spare time, Zilper enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves to travel and immerse herself in new cultures.