People and projects from around the PETROFAC world


Sleeve, Gesture, Eyelash, Art, Font, Happy

Olga Vyazova is Finance Manager at Petrofac’s Technical Training Centre on Sakhalin, a Russian island in the Pacific Ocean. She previously had the dual roles of Finance Manager of Petrofac’s subsidiaries in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, and Senior Finance Analyst in Petrofac Training International Limited in Sharjah, commuting between the two countries.

“Working in Sakhalin, feeling included is essential otherwise the remoteness might get to you. I used to do one month in the UAE, one month here. Travelling between them took 24 hours, on two flights, crossing eight time zones. I’d start off in 40 degree heat, stop off in Moscow to pick up my Winter clothes then arrive in snow blizzards. When you arrive you need a warm and welcoming environment!

“Being female isn’t an issue, the training centre is full of lovely ladies and accountancy is traditionally a female profession in Russia. Being young and in a position of responsibility though can be more difficult for other people to handle.

“I used to be a competitive ballroom dancer. I was a late starter at 13 – most began aged five – so I had to fight to be taken seriously as an older competitor. Later when I had to sort out a difficult issue in Sakhalin it was the opposite, some thought I was too young! But I’m stubborn, and work hard to prove myself. It also helps with team inclusion to see the funny side of things, not take life too seriously.

You’re expected to hit the ground running. I was sent on a business trip to Scotland on my first working day in the UAE, for example.  And there was a massive crisis in Sakhalin when I first arrived there in 2014. It does mean you don’t get the chance to “feel the atmosphere” as you start a role, and I know Petrofac is strengthening its onboarding procedures to make life easier for new joiners.

“Ballroom dancing teaches you the importance of communication and compromise. In other sports you might be on your own, or in a team with a leader. But in ballroom it’s down to you and your partner to work it out. You have to negotiate and value each other for what each brings and who they are.”



Lessons from Ballroom

Performing arts, Dancing shoe, Dance, Entertainment

“Ballroom dancing teaches you the importance of communication and compromise.”

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