Daniel Randazzo is a Financial Analyst who describes himself as hard-working, genuine and friendly. He shares his experience in the Shell assessed internship.
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 12 week internship was in the Prelude finance team. This immediately gave me exposure to a world first, Shell flagship project. I got to interact with a range of members of the project team including commercial leads, reservoir engineers, front end engineers, economics leads, the operational excellence team, accountants and the contracts team. I was given a range of projects, and even picked up several different pieces of work, all giving me exposure to what working in finance in an oil and gas company would be like.
Very quickly I was able to get a feel of what it’s like to work on a big project in an international company and what the culture was like, and I loved it. The culture is based on hard-work, solid ideas and collaboration.
What type of work did you do during your internship; did you have a specific project?
I was given three projects over the 12 weeks. However, with good planning I was able to increase my capacity and by the end of my 12 weeks I had picked up three additional projects. The first was to create a handbook summarising the Prelude Business Plan. My second project involved helping with year-end accounting disclosures. Finally, my third project revolved around the billing reports we give our Joint Venture Partners (‘JVP’s’).
The additional projects I picked up included doing the financial assessments of vendors who were bidding for a major Prelude contract, creating the template to a financial document to be used between the JVP’s, and finally, the most exciting, helping out with a multi-million dollar negotiation for one of Prelude’s contracts. The final project included attending negotiations and contract review boards as well as working on the financial model for the contract.
How would you describe your experience of the Shell internship? What would you say to students thinking about an internship with Shell?
The internship was a fantastic experience. It provided a brilliant opportunity to get some invaluable experience while still studying, allowing you to decipher whether you want to work in oil and gas; work at Shell; and work in a specific discipline, for me that was finance.
The support I received during my internship from all member of the business was phenomenal; no one was ever too busy to help me. Everyone had time to talk and explain what they did and how it fits and supports the overall business.
I would highly recommend completing an internship for two main reasons. Firstly you work on real projects, with actual deliverables and with people relying on you to deliver your assigned projects. Three years later and I’ve seen my work reappear several times. Secondly, the internship is the perfect opportunity to ‘test out the waters’ and see if a career in oil and gas is for you.
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?
My internship has held me in great stead for my career. It was the perfect platform to start work, as I hit the ground running, already understanding how the programs work, knowing what Shell Australia’s current portfolio looked like and most importantly I had an already established network.
As a graduate I’m no longer in the Prelude team, during my graduate rotation, I’ve had the opportunity to work in the team that receives the year-end disclosures. Having full knowledge of where the information comes from and what it all means, has meant I was a step ahead.
Knowing I had an offer on Shell’s graduate programme, entering my final year at law school I was able to focus on study and travel, making that last year extremely enjoyable.
Having had the opportunity to experience Shell through an internship, do you think this provided you with an advantage when starting the graduate programme?
For me personally it did. This is largely due to the already established network I had created and secondly due to the diverse range of work I had been given. For me that established network has been critical to my learning and development as a graduate. On countless occasions I needed some direction and have been able to get support from the connections I made during my internship.
To successfully complete the Shell Graduate Programme as a finance graduate, I need to show I am well equipped in several specific competencies. My time as an intern has given me an unbelievable grounding in a number of the competencies, giving me a head start.
Describe what makes Shell’s Assessed Internship programme unique?
The type of projects you work on along with the people makes Shell’s internship opportunity unique. I was working for 12 weeks on Prelude, the world’s first FLNG project. They trusted me to deliver actual work that people throughout the Prelude team, as well as JVPs, would rely on. As for the people, I got to work with some of the brightest minds in Shell and people with diverse experience.
Being an international company you get exposure to people from a range of different backgrounds which presents an incredible learning opportunity. My manager was an engineer who now works in finance. He was Indian and had worked in India, Japan (speaks fluent Japanese) and the Middle East. Learning from him and his experiences across several cultures and Shell organisations was priceless.
Why should today’s students apply for an internship with Shell?
The internship is a perfect opportunity to get a feel of what it is like to work full time and in the oil and gas industry. The internship helped me confirm that I wanted to work in a company like Shell. The icing on the cake would be locking down a job before my final year of university, taking a lot of pressure off trying to find a job and allowing me to focus on my studies.
Shell deals with one of the biggest and most challenging issues our world faces, that being the energy challenge. What you work on directly affects society and with Shell’s goal to be the most innovative energy company, there is no better place to do it.
What can students expect in the various stages of the assessed internship?
The first stage involves finding your feet – understanding your team, the company and the industry. Once you establish this, in-depth work on your project can start. Throughout the internship there are sessions run by Shell graduates to help you better understand the company and industry. Towards the end of the internship you become more focused on delivering your projects and preparing for your final presentation. The final presentation is an important part of the internship – it is a key factor in determining if you will make the benchmark to become a Shell graduate.
What is some of your advice to students applying to internships, and how would you encourage them to put their best foot forward?
Shell likes to hire leaders, people that show strength in an all-round capacity. You need to show you have the capacity to learn and develop the skills to deliver a project; and the right relationship skills to work with a range of people from around the globe, in a range of situations. Be yourself and be confident, without being arrogant, to give yourself the best chance at getting the job.
Any final words of advice for students considering an internship?
The internship is an ideal way to lock down a graduate position and begin working for Shell before you even finish your degree. The experience is an opportunity to understand if you really do want to work in the oil and gas industry, and can be extremely valuable if it brings you to the realisation that the work you were doing, or the industry itself, is, or is not for you.
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