Article

Career Opportunities

OIL AND GAS: ADVANCING PEOPLE

by Graduan
 
 
There is a reason why Shell is a global leader in the energy and petrochemical industries – it develops the talent that drives its business competencies. Leaders from its Information Technology, Contracts and Procurement, and Engineering divisions explain what sets Shell apart.
 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: PART OF A CONNECTED GLOBAL BUSINESS

 
The Information Technology Division of Shell delivers fit-for-business technology solutions enabling business agility and profitable growth. Malaysia’s IT division consists of more than 4,500 staff globally that provide 24-7 service and support to the Royal Dutch Shell Businesses globally.
 
According to Paul Rajasingam Sivagnanam, Asia Pacific Chairperson and Advisor for IT Graduates, the IT division is always on the lookout for individuals, including fresh graduates, who showcase intellectual, analytical and the creative ability to learn quickly, identify issues and propose solutions to these problems.
 
“In essence, the individual needs to look at issues at a much broader perspective, placing themselves and looking at it from a business perspective as well as from the customer’s perspective. Apart from that, they must also be able to work independently as well as in a diverse team environment. With IT supporting the operations of Shell globally, graduates can expect a truly global working environment even when based here locally,” he says.
 
The Shell Graduate Programme is designed to develop top performers, providing graduates with a consistent and global standard for early career development. It comprises a mix of on-thejob learning and formal, structured learning with the eventual aim of creating highly competent, professional and best in class employees.
 
Under the three-year programme, individuals are assigned to two to three different assignments in different teams, giving them a good grasp of the business as well as the opportunity to acquire diverse set of skills. The trainees are also required to master a set of core functional competencies known as the Graduate Functional Profile. “We ensure that they are given the full support and training in the form of mentors and buddies to guide them in their role and the working culture of Shell,” says Paul.
 
Upon completion of the programme, individuals are free to choose a job that suits his or her interests and are aligned to individual strengths. Paul explains, “The IT Graduate programme is designed to groom the future senior leaders of Shell; hence, the expectation is for the individual to eventually move to a senior leadership role.”
 
Shell, he says, is a great company for graduates to start off their careers because its business principle, “Respect for People”, offers equal opportunity to every employee. “We practise a culture of leaders developing leaders. This means we see investing in people as bread and butter of doing business. Throughout your career with us, you have unrivalled scope for development through personalised training opportunities.”
 

CONTRACTS AND PROCUREMENT: DELIVERING THE HIGHEST STANDARDS

 
When Nyon Kam Yew sings praises about Shell as a graduate employer of choice, it is from first-hand experience. The Global Operational Excellence Manager for Contracts and Procurement Operations first joined Shell Malaysia in 1992 under the Shell Graduate Programme.
 
His lengthy tenure with the group has seen him covering Retail Operations, Retail Convenience Retailing and Contracts and Procurement. His global career path has seen him traversing Melaka, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and China before he assumed his current role based in Kuala Lumpur.
 
“Shell has a strong foundation in terms of values and cultures. In a company that is very large locally and globally, it continuously strives to ensure that you have a very positive and developed working environment. Its established policies, procedures and systems enable you to have a focused and more effective working environment. Shell is a global leader in power, energy, and gas technology and is working to meet increasing energy demand and supply challenges by delivering smarter products and cleaner energy, smarter infrastructure, smarter use, and by developing new energy sources while addressing the impact on the environment, through cleaner burning natural gas and advanced fuels and lubricants technology.
 
“Apart from just looking at where you can go in terms of career, the company as a whole also looks into what you can gain and learn in the role itself, developing your core competencies as an individual and how you can contribute towards the growth and development of the company itself,” he shares.
 
The Contracts and Procurement (CP) division of Shell, which Nyon belongs, is responsible in managing all of Shell’s third-party goods and services deliverables and ensures that it is done in a safe and cost competitive manner. It entails working closely with all functions and divisions to deliver and create a competitive edge for the group. The division is involved in the early stages of project delivery, technology and innovation, and through this, is able to strengthen the internal and external relationships with stakeholders, creating a mutually beneficial and collaborative partnership.
 
Fresh graduates in the CP division will be exposed to one of the four main disciplines of the division: Category Management, Contract Management, Supplier Management or Operations Management in any of Shell’s Upstream, Downstream, and Projects and Technology (P&T) businesses.
 
They will be enrolled in the CP Learning Curriculum, a unique programme designed by Shell for Shell. This is a core module that all graduates would need to complete before they complete their graduate programme. There are also relevant learning courses under the Supply Chain Academy programme, to strengthen core competencies.
 
Fresh graduates are also given access to coaching tools and mentors to help them through the process and guide them in developing the skills and competencies needed to be successful in their role. A CP Job Navigator tool also helps them understand how they can progress in their career in Shell CP.
 
“You will learn a lot about HSSE, Ethics and Compliance, ways of doing your work the right way, something that you can always carry with you wherever you go. It is a great platform to be able to get yourself exposed as we have here a representation of almost all our business functions right here at your doorstep,” says Nyon.

ENGINEERING: AT THE HEART OF THE BUSINESS

 
Sabah Asset is part of Shell Malaysia Upstream portfolio consisting of mainly oil fields. It is a growing asset and important for the future of Shell Malaysia in view of the deepwater development and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) opportunities.
 
Siti Sulaiman, who helms this division as General Manager, says the business normally looks for technical graduates mainly with engineering and subsurface (G&G, Petroleum Engineering) qualifications because the scope is very much technical ranging from subsurface interpretation, reservoir management to maintenance and operations of offshore fields.
 
In addition, there is also a lot of focus on soft skills, especially on the behavioural aspects. “Typically we look for graduates who are self-confident and demonstrate high achievement drive and have genuine interest and are passionate about what they do. Effective communication is also very important. In a big organisation such as Shell, there are multiple disciplines and the population consists of people from diverse background, hence it is essential that communication is kept very focus and the messages that we send out are consistent.”
 
The Sabah Asset division offers a broad range of opportunities at multiple organisational levels, offering possibilities for both leadership and deep technical specialists. In the initial years, graduates can expect hands-on training through field exposure or actual project assignment. For instance, production engineering graduates normally have the opportunities to go on field assignments offshore to give them better appreciation on how complex the oil and gas facilities are and the challenges that come with the operations and maintenance of the facilities.
 
Relevant classroom trainings will also be given to help graduates build their technical knowledge in relevant areas. Coaching and mentoring by more senior employees also helps to fast track the learning process.
 
“Some of the recent improvement work on the graduates’ programme has also resulted in the revisiting of graduate work assignments to ensure discipline challenge and job satisfaction, improved mentorship coverage for staff and a review of options to improve coaching effectiveness. A Graduate Foundation Framework has been developed and launched, which should provide a lot more clarity to our graduates with regards to career development and progression,” explains the former Shell Scholar who obtained her first class degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College of London.
 
Having began her Shell journey in 1990 before joining Sarawak Shell Berhad in 1994, Siti Sulaiman is perhaps one of the best persons to explain Shell’s attractiveness as an employer and a company for graduates to launch their careers.
 
“Shell offers a range of opportunities for graduates supported by a very structured competence based development and progression programme. I believe that Shell allows its employees to make an impact on Shell’s business and the growth in the country.
 
“Here, graduates work alongside professionals with years of experience, and this enables them to see things from a different perspective and gain a real-world understanding of the Upstream Business itself. At Shell, people being groomed will be exposed to different roles and given international exposure so that they will have the experience and understanding of the company by the time they are appointed to the top jobs.”

 

 
 

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