Interview with Magy Avedissian, new Supervisor of the Energy and Markets program

Portrait de Magy Avedissian

Three years after obtaining her IFP School degree in Petroleum Economics and Management (now Energy Technology Economics and Management), Magy Avedissian returns to her alma mater to supervise the Energy and Markets program.

A California native, Magy obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University before moving to France to pursue her master’s at IFP School.

1.   Could you tell us about your background? What initially got you interested in project evaluation and data analytics?

When I was considering what academic path I wanted to pursue, I was gravitating towards industries that provided international exposure. I found the energy industry to be fascinating for exactly this reason, and decided this was the way to go, and of course I chose petroleum engineering as my foot in the door. There was no smarter way to get into the energy industry, at the time at least. The financial aspects of energy stood out to me almost immediately upon entering my petroleum engineering undergrad. So, I took the liberty to specialize in it.

I started my career at QRI, based in Houston (Texas, USA), specializing in financial evaluation and working with clients ranging from small independent enterprises to super majors. I aided in recommending financially viable options for developing their petroleum assets. My first projects required me to place valuations on major field developments and basically figure out if a project’s future cash flows would support the investment associated with the project. I thought it was quite challenging and rewarding because there are a lot of moving parts in these calculations, and it can take some time to reach multiple development plan recommendations.

This, of course, relates to a lot of data coming in and out of the calculations pipeline.
So, I’ve also worked extensively on field data management and machine learning driven solutions for client asset management. The two functions work closely together, and I consider them focal points for my professional upbringing. I am quite happy with what I have experienced and as someone always looking for new crossroads, I hope to allow my knowledge to be both expanded and passed on.

2.   What drew you to this position? Are you looking forward to teaching?

I believe the academic experience you can get at IFP School will set you up for success. I have met and learned from so many worthwhile faculty and guest lecturers. I felt like things happened at the right place and right time, and I was exposed to this position at a point in my life where I wanted to bring my knowledge back to where I started from. A full circle moment as I like to say. I am particularly looking forward to the moment where I can teach and find new engaging ways to have the students learn. I do have many ideas and am eager to develop this program further, but as I have just commenced, I find that it is best to be patient, observe, analyze and get everything done in time.

3.   What would you say to a young student who is aspiring to join the energy sector?

The industry is a lot more dynamic than when I was a student, and I did not graduate that long ago. There are many more opportunities now to participate in enticing and ground-breaking projects, each of them making an impact on its own facet of the industry. So, do not be too choosy when it comes to picking your internships or jobs. All of them are going to be worthwhile and make a difference. The fundamental requirement should be that you need to feel passionate about it.

Fast Facts

Grew up in: Los Angeles.
City or town you call home: Yerevan, Armenia.
First internship: Project Management for an energy foundation in Armenia. I even learned how to do grant writing!
Best advice given to you in the workplace: Don’t get comfortable, ever.
One word you would use to describe the Energy and Markets program: Exposure
Favorite French word: “Eau
Energy media (newspaper, TV show, radio, podcast) must follow: Yahoo Finance is a top-notch free general resource, the Columbia Energy Exchange, podcasts from Digital Wildcatters, and of course our center’s amazing Energy Innovation Bulletin 😉.

Interview conducted by Meyling Siu