Andrejka Bernatova, 34
Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations, PennTex Midstream Partners, Houston
Leads corporate finance, M&A, strategy, treasury and investor relations efforts at PennTex Midstream Partners. Instrumental in guiding PennTex through the IPO process and post-IPO integration into a public company.
Career path: Prior to PennTex, spent half of her career as an investment banker at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley and another half on buyside including working at The Blackstone Group in New York and Mubadala Development Co. in The United Arab Emirates.
Starting from scratch: Came to America at the age of 15 alone, with no knowledge of English, carrying $100 in her pocket. Made use of every opportunity she has been afforded along the way including earning a full ride to Harvard, working on Wall Street and launching a career in oil and gas.
Guiding and growing: Leadership style evolved as she was promoted from junior to senior positions. Initially mentored; now, with increased responsibilities, takes a direct approach. “I push their limits and expose them to the right opportunities so that they can succeed through hard work and showcase their respective talents.”
The journey: The oil and gas business taught her that “life is a marathon, not a sprint, and consistency is often more important than one-off achievements, a degree from Harvard or a resume filled with blue chip companies.” Advocates that “you just always need to keep moving forward.”
Guiding principle: “Make the most of every opportunity you get! Never assume you ‘deserve’ an opportunity, as you always need to earn it. Stay thirsty for opportunity, stay humble, nimble and never quit learning.”
What you make of it: In awe of “how the industry continues to reinvent itself.” Proud to work in oil and gas, which against all odds “rises to the occasion and continues moving forward.” Applies this to both the people, “hard-working and results-oriented,” and technology and innovation; “rock that was once considered ‘the seal’ has now become ‘the reservoir.’”