From Aberdeen to Offshore Exploration Entrepreneur - Ivan StarostinIvan Starostin

MSc Oil & Gas Enterprise Management, 2015
From Aberdeen to Offshore Exploration Entrepreneur

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
It's a renowned university with respectable degrees.

Why did you choose your particular course?
The OGEM course was the closest alternative to a petroleum engineering course I could get into, because my first degree was in management and economics.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
We were an amazing close group of extremely different people who all became friends at the beginning and continued like that throughout the course and beyond. We still keep in touch and meet regularly. My classmates are the best thing that happened to me during my time at the University.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?    
Don’t waste your life in the back row of the classroom. Ask questions, do your homework and google every word you don’t understand. A multitude of information is at your disposal and you have chosen to take a few years to absorb some of it - don’t waste those years idling  around.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Director.

What did your first role involve?
Running my first company, a small oil consulting service advising companies on their business affairs, marketing and strategy.

What is your current job title?
Director at TenzorGEO.

What is your current role?
Running an offshore seismic firm that specialises in passive microseismic monitoring for hydrocarbon exploration and offshore CO2 injection management.

What is your current location?
Aberdeen/London/Kiel (Germany)/Houston, TX/ Perth, Australia

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
I graduated as a passionate petroleum financier who wanted to change things. And my desire to identify where to apply my energy brought me to the inventor of our technology, who was struggling to commercialise it. That was the beginning of fruitful cooperation. We then saw through a rocky start-up survival journey through our first offshore field trial and on to the commercial stage.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
It gave me competence to speak equally to anyone in the industry, regardless of their seniority. My degree was like an insignia of my right to stand upright and talk openly.

One Top Tip

Do what you must, attend classes, read all the books you can get you hands on. Ask every (silly) question you can imagine, challenge (respectfully) everything. Fall in love, party hard, don’t miss classes. Overrule the spatiotemporal continuum to fit all of the above into your life. And live this life to the full!

Forrest Gump said: “My Mom always told me life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” UoA is this box of chocolates - your task is to open it and start taking them - one by one. Good luck!