How did your 12 week assessed internship with Shell give you an insight into Shell as an organisation, the culture, projects and type of work ?
My internship gave me an incredible insight into how Shell operates from the inside. From my first day I could ask many questions. I was encouraged to discover and learn as much as I could - from how a specific technology works to the organisational structure of the company.
One of my highlights was listening to the personal career stories from the leadership team. It’s one of those moments that you never forget.
What type of work did you do during your internship; did you have a specific project?
I was given an amazing opportunity to investigate the feasibility of a crude-mix change which could result in significant cost-savings for the refinery.
One of my key responsibilities was to build a predictive nitrogen model for a section of the plant. This involved performing mass balances, dew point calculations and corrosion chemistry analysis - I was thrilled that I was able to put into practice what I had learnt at University.
This project also gave me hands-on exposure to the operating units – within the first few weeks I was decked out in safety overalls inspecting pipes, vessels and heat-exchangers.
How would you describe your experience of the Shell internship? What would you say to students thinking about an internship with Shell?
I remember on my first day expecting that it would be a challenging experience with a steep learning curve. I had no idea that it would be one of the most exciting things I’ve done – during my internship I had the chance to go on multiple site tours, shadow operators in the control room and even go onboard a huge product tanker.
You’ll be surprised at the opportunities you’ll get as an intern. It sounds cliché, but it’s a 12 week adventure - because there’s always something new to see every week!
How did your assessed internship prepare you for your career and how did it feel knowing you had secured a graduate position well before your graduation date?
Shell’s internship gave me a real and relevant on-the-job experience - such an exposure has helped me develop my technical competencies and built my confidence working in a professional and dynamic environment.
The assessed internship can provide you with the opportunity to secure a graduate position without having to worry about finding a graduate job in your final year. It was a wonderful privilege!
Having had the opportunity to experience Shell through an internship, do you think this provided you with an advantage when starting the graduate programme?
One of the great things about a Shell internship is the chance to discover your strengths and areas of development. When you are working on a real project with real consequences and real stakeholders, you learn a lot about yourself. You are also given feedback from your mentor and supervisor which I found invaluable and has helped me see my ‘blind spots’.
The transition into the graduate programme is so much easier because you are familiar with how Shell works. You understand how things are done, how people work together and what are the key business drivers. Plus, you arrive on the first day and you see familiar faces!
Describe what makes Shell’s Assessed Internship programme unique?
Shell has a great culture and is passionate about developing its people. People are incredibly accessible and love to share what they have learnt. A good part of the Shell Internship is focused on your growth – the mid-term and final review gives you a unique opportunity to reflect on yourself and identify areas for development.
Because Shell is a global organisation, you’ll get a chance to experience an international working environment.
Why should today’s students apply for an internship with Shell?
It’s one of the best internship programs out there. If you enjoy learning, challenging and growing– this is a rare opportunity and a great pathway to the graduate programme.
It’s also a great chance to meet some really bright and capable people on the planet!
What can students expect in the various stages of the assessed internship?
There are three stages; first, the mid-internship assessment, a meeting with your supervisor and mentor. It’s a good chance to reflect on what you’ve done well and where you can improve. Ask for as much feedback as possible.
Second, the final-internship assessment is a formal review with your supervisor and mentor. This meeting will review your performance – how did you go with your deliverables? Have you improved since the mid-internship assessment?
The third stage involves an E-tray exercise and a final presentation. The E-tray is an online test which assesses how well you can process information and how well you can make timely decisions. The final presentation is rewarding – you share what you’ve accomplished and learnt throughout your 12 weeks.
What is some of your advice to students applying to internships, and how would you encourage them to put their best foot forward?
Take your time. Don’t rush your application. Be specific and concise when providing examples. Ask someone with experience to review your CV and cover letter.
Think about your life experience - what’s been unique? How does that fit with Shell’s CAR (Capacity, Achievement and Relationship) criteria?
Practice answering as many interview questions. It’s really important to practice in front of someone!
Any final words of advice for students considering an internship?
Give it your best shot, you’ve got nothing to lose.