Al Short (B.App. PET '99), Imperial Oil executive, retired
"We went to a lot of tough places in my career with Imperial Oil (including Nigeria and Russia), but they were rewarding from a family and career perspective. With the support of SAIT to get me the education, the support of my employer and the support of my family, it turned out pretty great. It's a good life.
We earned this life. I grew up in a very, very poor family. We didn't have much. If you were ever going to make anything of yourself, it was 'go figure it out kid.' It wasn't going to happen any other way. I am the second or third highest executive in Imperial Oil that didn't come to the company straight out of university. I started at the lowest level there is (as a gas plant operator trainee) and worked my way up. It's been a wonderful ride and I wouldn't change a minute of it.
I am really proud of my two kids in that they respect the value of a dollar. They have done well and done it all themselves. One of the things I've always said to anyone who'd listen is to do more than others expect of you, whether it's in your family life, your church, your community or your work. And spend less than you make. Remember those two things and you will be just fine."
Al Short joined Imperial Oil in 1974 as a gas plant operator trainee. He rose steadily through the ranks, supplementing his education with a First Class Power Engineering certificate in 1982 and a Bachelor of Applied Petroleum Engineering Technology in 1999 from SAIT. To achieve all this, he commuted from Cold Lake to Calgary one to two days a week over the course of a year and a half. His executive-level postings included Russia, Nigeria and Houston. He retired in 2011 and is now based in Coldstream, B.C., just south of Vernon. He and his wife travel extensively and enjoy spending time with their two sons and grandchildren.