Samita Mehta’s extensive responsibilities place her outside of the United States. Currently based in Moscow, Mehta serves as the general counsel and vice president of legal, human resources and administration for the Conoco International Petroleum Company, the Russian representative company for ConocoPhillips. She oversees all legal support for ConocoPhillips’ operations and business opportunities within Russia. She also heads the Moscow office’s human resources and supervises its day-to-day administrative functions.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska School of Law, Mehta encountered her greatest career challenge when she accepted a management position supervising a significant number of attorneys and overseeing a specific area of law within a law department. “Frankly speaking, it was one of the most difficult times in my professional life as I was admittedly young and inexperienced, and on many occasions I functioned solely out of fear of failure!” The experience created greater confidence in her ability to take on new challenges.
In addition to self-confidence, however, Mehta places great stock in the career advice she receives from a network of “close lawyer friends, the majority of whom happen to be women.” Mehta says, “I trust them because they always have my best interests at heart and their advice is honest and well-considered.” Mehta advises upward-bound attorneys to “create such a network based on mutual trust and friendship.”
From the March/April 2003 issue of Diversity & The Bar®