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Category Technician, Offshore Operations & Subsea

Category Technician, Offshore Operations & Subsea

Name: Karan Nijhawan
Company: Husky Energy
Education: Bachelor of Commerce, Memorial University 
Location: Onshore – Office Building
Hometown: St. John’s, NL
Currently Living In: St. John’s, NL


Karan Nijhawan works with Husky Energy in his hometown of St. John’s. In his job as Category Technician, Karan helps Husky select outside companies to provide goods and services for its projects and daily operations. In big industries, this network of purchasers and suppliers is often referred to as the “supply chain.” Below, Karan “supplies” us with some insight into what it means to be a business professional in Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and gas industry.

Education and Personal Background 

Karan’s first exposure to the business world came in high school. As part of a Career Development project, he job shadowed his father at work for a full day. “From then on, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in business,” he says. 

Karan completed the Bachelor of Commerce program at Memorial University, which included paid work terms.

“The skills and knowledge I gained through those work terms really helped groom the business professional I am today,” he says.

Since completing his undergraduate degree, Karan has participated in a number of training courses through Husky Energy, such as Introduction to the Petroleum Industry, Excellence in Presenting, and Business Writing for Results.

Duties and Work Environment 

“The supply chain is a very interesting area of business but a lot of people don’t quite know what it is… That used to be me,” says Karan

These days, Karan is working on supply chain projects daily. He prepares and negotiates contracts, and meets directly with the vendors who supply Husky Energy with goods and services. There is a lot of competition for the contracts, so Karan must make sure the tendering processes is fair, and that the best company is selected for the work. Karan especially enjoys the negotiation process, as it gives him the flexibility to use his own judgement and make arrangements that benefit the company.

“All of this incorporates a level of accountability in my work life,” he says.

Karan’s job is very busy, and involves great attention to detail. He stresses the importance of strong organizational skills, written and interpersonal communications skills, and good judgement. On the technical side, Karan’s job requires computer skills, he works with the Microsoft Office Suite of programs, and more specialized programs used to manage contracts and process data. 

Questions and Answers 

Why did you choose a career in oil and gas? 

My awareness of the importance of oil and gas in our province made me want to get involved right away. I also felt that if I wanted to work in a fast-paced and lucrative environment, I had to get into this industry. Although my career has only just begun, I can already tell that the oil and gas industry holds a promising future for me.

What is the best career advice you’ve been given? 

Find someone you respect at work and act as they do. This simple and practical advice has helped me mature in an industry that thrives on accountability.

What inspires you in your job? 

The fact that the company truly recognizes hard work really drives my work ethic, and inspires me to be the best employee I can be.