When Kathy Neset started out in the oil industry in the late 1970s, there were almost no women in the business. Ladies rooms were a rarity.
Neset grew up in New Jersey, the only girl in a family of nine children—excellent preparation, she now realizes, for the rough-and-tumble world of the oilfield. She concentrated in geology at Brown University in Rhode Island, and then went to work in East Texas with an oilfield consulting company. “I had no idea what I was getting into,” she recalls. She soon followed the oil to Wyoming and North Dakota, meeting her husband, Roy, at a drilling site by Tioga. In 1980, Neset and Roy founded Neset Consulting, and during much of the 1980s and 1990s, when the oil industry was struggling, they farmed and took odd jobs such as substitute teaching. During boom times they focused on oil.
To be successful Neset mentioned a couple key points:
• Dress for success and look the part. And know your material.
• If you want to be taken seriously, be professional, it is something you have to work at and consciously be aware of.
• Keep building, keep changing, keep moving forward or else you will move back.
• Do what you are good at. When Kathy decided to be a geologist, she said I want to be the best – and that goal has pushed her to be successful.
• Keep reinventing yourself. Neset Consulting is now looking at engineering and construction services in the Bakken downtime.