Total at Work
Meet Anita! She’s Head of Internal and External Communications for Total E&P Uganda. She’s been telling us about her educational background and what her job involves.
“I believe that when you have passion for what you do, excellence becomes second nature. And excellent performance is often recognized and rewarded - but when you love what you do, there is a sense of fulfilment that comes with it and that’s priceless.” Since joining Total in 2013, Anita has been making her mark, helping the company build and maintain our reputation in Uganda, and says that her favorite part of the job is being able to come up with new and innovative ideas, then seeing them come to life.
Working across everything from internal communications to events, branding and occasionally crisis communications, it’s clear that her work is never dull. “There is huge responsibility in my line of work because every day I am mindful of the fact that what I do could impact on the corporate reputation of the Group. This keeps me very alert!” Yet it’s clear that Anita enjoys this challenge. “Living on the edge is what life should be about; there is no fun just existing. If you love what you do, and it keeps you motivated - that’s a life worth living.”
So what kind of educational background does Anita have? “I have a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications (Public Relations/Journalism) from Makerere University, and I am member of the UK Chartered institute of Marketing. I am currently pursuing an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School, Herriot-Watt University.” Apart from the right qualifications, what does she see as the most important skills to succeed in a communications role? “A good communicator should always stay curious. And a communicator’s role is quite dynamic - you need to always be innovative and/or on the lookout for new ideas and trends to be able to keep your role relevant. I’d say the key words are passion, creativity and curiosity”.
As well as her work in Uganda, Anita travels regularly to meet colleagues or to keep up her industry knowledge and training. “I get to travel at least 3 times a year within the region for company events like conferences and exhibitions. I also get the opportunity to meet with my peers in the industry for networking events. Continuous learning is important, and Total supports me to do a short course abroad at least once a year.”
Anita is also involved in Total E&P Uganda’s social responsibility programs, and sees this activity as particularly rewarding: “I feel humbled when a social program I have advocated is funded by the company and when I see the impact it has on the community. Like they say, people may never remember what you said, but will remember how you made them feel, and that’s what social responsibility should be about.”
For Anita, being part of a successful global company is very motivating. She says that, “Knowing that whatever part I play at the local level makes a contribution to over 130 000 Total employees worldwide that are also dedicated to making Total one of the TOP 4 international Oil and Gas Companies in the world gives meaning to my role.”
And although communication is where her heart lies, she’s enthusiastic about the possible future career paths that are open to her, saying that, “Total offers a platform for employees to venture into other roles, so you find geologists working in contracts and procurement; business development or communicators in Human resources, to mention a few. I know for sure that a completely new role would open a whole world of new challenges for me, and I love a good challenge!”
As part of her job, Anita had the chance to get involved in the communications about the Africa Cup of Nations as Total was a sponsor of the event. She told us that this activity improved cohesion and team work between Total employees in Uganda.
If you liked this article, you can also read about the adventure of Team MakEAGE - Team Total 2017 grant recipients from Makerere university who attended the EAGE conference in Paris.