With the right amount of determination and curiosity, Terry Freckelton believes it is more than possible to progress in the career that you love.

Currently the Vice President of Development for Shell Australia and New Zealand, Terry’s passion for the oil and gas industry was sparked through his interest in geology as a young child: “I always had a fancy for geology – collecting rocks and minerals and then putting them into my little rucksack.”

Like most young adults, Terry found it difficult after high school to find his feet and choose a career. “I took two years off after high school,” he recalls, “I guess you’d call it a walkabout.”

However, once he rediscovered his enthusiasm for the oil and gas industry, he has never been happier: “I had an epiphany. I could continue on this unknown path or I could go and do something I want to do. That’s when I realized my deep interests in geology and mining, so I went to university and did it!”

After completing a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s of Applied Science in Metallurgical Engineering, and nine years as a young Reservoir Engineer, Terry’s colourful career in the oil and gas industry began.

Terry, a Canadian national, has been with Shell for 24 years and has worked in both technical and operational management roles in several exciting places, including Canada, Russia, Gulf of Mexico, Malaysia and Australia.

Working across a range of sites, Terry’s highlights include a three-year assignment as a Venture Leader for the Na Kika Deepwater Development in New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, and a nine-year assignment in Malaysia working as a Venture Manager for the Malaysia Deepwater Projects. “I joined the project at its discovery and I stayed with it for nine years,” he said. Demonstrating Terry’s passion to see a project through to completion, “it’s as if you’ve seen a child born and then grow up!”

Having experienced difficulty in discovering his passions as a young adult, Terry strives to take these learnings and help to foster young graduates’ careers. “It sounds a bit corny,” he says laughing, “But my favorite thing about my job is seeing young people achieving. Seeing the gleam in their eye, their interest and that they want to do well.”

As an experienced technical and operational manager in reservoir development, Terry’s top career tip is: “Don’t go chasing promotions, love what you’re doing and be curious: if it doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning then it will be harder for you to grow.”

Terry’s a passionate leader who wishes to instill commitment rather than compliance – a trait he learned from his determination as a young adult entering the workforce. A tip to his team is to always be proactive and think ahead. “When there’s a problem,” he says, “I like to hear possible solutions of how we are going to fix it.”

Terry’s ambition, curiosity and caring nature is what has aided him in his successful career in the industry, from Reservoir Engineer to Vice President of Development for Shell Australia and New Zealand, a great example to those wishing to reach the same lengths.