As a Shell Malaysia Scholarship recipient, Zahira Zaharudin was able to meet Shell leaders and find out about working for the company throughout her degree studies. When she graduated in Petroleum Engineering from the Universiti Technologi Petronas, she decided to apply to join the Shell Graduate Programme and was excited to discover even more about the opportunities it offered.
“I’m very open to taking on new challenges. I realised there’s a lot we can do in Malaysia and a lot I can learn in Shell,” she explained.
Having grown up with her father working in Malaysia’s energy industry, Zahira said she felt very much at home when she joined Shell. As a Graduate Project Engineer, she manages a variety of different projects and enjoys collaborating with engineers from other disciplines. Like Shell, Safety is her No 1 priority.
“I’m passionate about safety, thanks to my dad’s influence. So I’m very proud that Shell gives it top priority,” she said. “From day one I felt I was in a real job environment, but colleagues allow you space to learn and develop yourself. I really enjoy getting hands-on learning on projects that matter. Having to think on my feet has really stretched my development.”
Zahira’s role means that no two days are the same, which she loves: “One of the projects has been to design and install a metering system to allocate and differentiate the volume of hydrocarbons produced. There are always exciting upcoming projects for me to work on.”
Zahira enjoys the responsibility her role gives her, and knows that she can rely on her team for support.
“My team is a diverse mix of people. They guide me with their inspiration and passion. It’s also interesting to learn of other cultures, from Malaysia to the rest of the world.”
She added: “Lots of women are in technical roles here; gender bias doesn’t come into the workplace and I’m treated equally.”
Promoting equal opportunities is important to Zahira. This has inspired her to join Shell’s ‘Project Better World’, which encourages employees to volunteer in helping the community improve. At the moment Zahira and some colleagues have been collecting books to help a local school.
“I get a lot out of it. It’s a way to give something back to the community I live and work in, and also gives me a greater sense of belonging,” she said.
As a next step in her career, Zahira will join the Shell Advanced Technical Programme, a three-year accelerated development programme for graduates and experienced professionals that combine coaching, mentoring and on-the-job learning.
“I want to strengthen my skills in project engineering and broaden what I do. My mentors have helped me form a development plan, so I’m looking forward to tackling more challenging responsibilities head on.”
Zahira’s advice to other graduates?
“Be open to every opportunity that comes your way. If you have a drive to develop yourself, then Shell is great to help you stretch your potential.”