Shell's Commercial Graduate Program - Life in Downstream Commercial
I'm Tobias Chen, I joined Shell in 2011.
The culture is very open, very friendly.
One thing that keeps people here is the culture. [The Shell's] Graduate Program, is very different from the typical management trainee program and the amount of participation of senior leaders in this program is quite surprising and very encouraging.
I have never been declined walking into a VP's office or a GM's office. They're always very encouraging and very welcoming towards feedback, enquiries or even challenges.
Each Shell graduate will be assigned, or through his own means, find a mentor that is a senior leader in a business, with advice, career guidance and help to resolve some of the issues that a graduate might be facing. The interactions with people who have spent 10, 20 years in a business - I think that's really helpful for someone that's fresh out of university, like me.
Shell, as we all know, is a Fortune 100 company, and it has a huge array of businesses. Aside from Upstream we also have the very strong Downstream business. Through that, you bring out a very complete perspective.
It's a really a lot of opportunities that one can enter into. There's always new businesses to explore and new dimensions, new markets, new challenges to face. It never gets boring.
There is this immense network of courses that we can take up in our own time. It's called Shell Open University. It broadens our horizons beyond just our job scope, our businesses. I think that's a very strong benefit associated with being a graduate.
I'll typically begin my day with a little bit of planning about what's going to happen throughout the day. The mornings are typically time for, firstly, clearing overnight emails, that would be followed by teleconferences with our colleagues in the Philippines, in Thailand and in China.
Lunchtime is typically spent with the team or with friends. After lunch, we can literally focus on our work - the project that's outstanding, the reports, the analysis that we have to do.
My proudest moment in Shell was the winning of a very important contract. Everybody, upon hearing the news, jumped up and cheered and it was really a very exciting moment for us; we celebrated.
The first thing that my line manager said to me, when I first came to Shell, was "You're all hand-picked to be the future leaders of Shell… that you will one day become a leader of this Fortune 100 company."
This is also something that drew me to Shell in the first place; the opportunity to make a difference for the world's energy future. The world's constantly growing and with economic growth comes an ever-increasing need for energy. And so that prospect of being at the forefront of the most exciting part of the energy industry, I think that's something that really defines a Shell graduate.