An Interview with Mark Christofersen… Royal Australian Navy to Oil & Gas

Mark recently shared his experience of some of the training courses he undertook here at Harness to enter the oil and gas industry after spending more than 26 years with the Royal Australian Navy. Mark took part in a number of Harness courses back in 2016 to support his career change.

1. Tell me a little about yourself and your career path before you undertook training with Harness?

I served with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for 26.5 years as an Electronics Technician (Communications). I was looking for a change in direction with regard to my career and that is exactly what I found!

2.  What made you decide to undertake training with Harness and what course(s) did you participate in?

Mark Christofersen
Mark Christofersen.

I wanted to enter the Oil and Gas Industry, as a result I contacted Harness Energy and asked how do I best prepare myself to give myself the best opportunity to be successful in entering this Industry. I was advised to complete the 5 day ‘Rig Ready’ course and also the IWCF Level One and Two (Surface BOP Training). I enrolled in all courses and successfully completed them during September 2016 over a nine day period.

3.   How did you find the training you undertook with Harness? i.e. was it useful and relevant in helping you reach your career goals?

I found the training at Harness to be interesting, informative and delivered by competent and knowledgeable instructors with years of industry experience. The training was extremely beneficial to me as I was approached by one of the leaders in the industry wishing a short period of completing my training. Harness management (Rory Duff) was extremely helpful with regard to providing direction and opportunity which resulted in my employment with Savanna Energy.

4.  After completing your training course(s), what were your next career steps?

To enter the Oil and Gas Industry, learn as much as possible from the ground up and commence a new and very different carer to what I have previously known. I have secured employment and I am enthusiastic to learn and progress within the industry.

5. Did you self-fund the training course?

Yes, I was a self funded student.

6. Do you think it was worth the money and do you feel you got a return on your investment?

Yes, the money was well spent, I found employment within a matter of weeks and having completed my training with Harness in September 2016, I commenced employment with Savanna in November of 2016.

7. What next? Are you planning more training?

At this stage I will be consolidating the training and gaining as much experience in the field as I can, choosing the best mentors to follow and expanding my knowledge rapidly. I am confident there will be further training along the way with progression and advancement.

8. How important do you think training has been in helping you reach your career goals?

The training definitely set me up in a new industry which in turn now provides me with the opportunity to chase my new career goals in a vastly different industry.

9. What would you say to someone contemplating a career change or an intensive piece of training but is unsure how to proceed?

I would recommend they contact the Harness Energy organisation and discuss a training plan that will suit their specific needs and assist them with the transition into the Oil and Gas Industry. The personal and professional rewards are waiting for those willing to do the hard yards, go outside of their comfort zone and strive to achieve, you can do anything if you are prepared to make the commitment.

10. And finally, what would be your dream training course?

As for a dream course to undertake, although many ideas run through my mind, I think I would like to undertake a course in Astrology with Brian Cox as the presenter, space and everything about it fascinates me and the ‘Rock Star’ Scientist (Brian Cox) has a unique way of explaining things in a way you understand and he is an intriguing individual that would have a positive and influential impact on anyone he lectures. Strange response maybe, but an interesting subject, delivered by a genius in his field would be a great experience.