When Anna Joy Tan chose to study psychology, her ambition was to be a clinical psychologist. However, during an internship at a psychiatric centre, she decided it wasn’t what she wanted and began considering other career options. She realised that Human Resources would be a good fit with her passion for working with people and helping them develop.
Anna Joy was looking to return to her native Malaysia to begin her career after studying in the US. “It was my dad who suggested applying to Shell,” said Anna Joy. “He thinks Shell in Malaysia is a great company. I started researching it for myself and I realised it could offer lots of opportunities for me. What really caught my attention was Shell’s investment in graduates and the focus on our development. That made Shell stand out compared to the other companies I had interviews with, or the other job options I had.”
Anna Joy applied to join the Shell Graduate Programme. Upon taking up her first role as a HR Analyst at the Port Dickson Refinery in Malaysia, she immediately knew she had made the right decision.
“I had a portfolio to manage straight away. I wasn’t just shadowing someone. I had amazing support around me, but I had to take responsibility for my own portfolio. To start with there was a lot of learning on the processes, roles and responsibilities of being a Human Resources practitioner within Shell. Every day was a new opportunity to learn and I loved it.”
Within the first two years, Anna Joy supported a structured review of the refinery, where her responsibilities expanded to cover different business areas.
“I have enjoyed every moment and would never have imagined how much responsibility I would be given, and how much I had grown as a person and as an HR professional.”
What is Anna Joy’s hope for the future?
“I hope to reach a position where I’m leading a team and motivating future graduates like myself. Being in HR, and with Shell being such a pioneering company, I know I’m contributing to the talent development, and ultimately the economic success, of my country. For me, being an HR professional is about recruiting the best people and then challenging them to go out of their comfort zone to achieve their maximum potential.”
What is Anna Joy’s advice for others thinking of applying to Shell?
“Definitely apply. I compare myself to friends in other companies, not just in the benefits and remuneration, but also in the learning opportunities that Shell offers its graduates. I haven't heard of any other company that comes close to it. At Shell, graduates are not just treated as someone to do a job; the company believes we’re the future leaders of the company. That shapes the roles and opportunities that we get.”