Be The Change
Tang Lik Jin, known to his friends as Jin, is a Petroleum Technologist in Malaysia and was given his first offshore assignment just two months after joining Shell. For him, this proved the company’s trust and commitment to employees’ personal development.
Jin has studied in four different countries on three different continents, but the qualified mechanical engineer wanted to return to Malaysia to make a difference in his homeland.
“There are many things happening in Malaysia and it wouldn’t be fair for me to say they should do this or that while I was staying in another country.”
“I came back to be a part of the change and to make a difference. I believe that if you want to see a change, you have to be the change.”
“My family is here and it’s my home; I grew up here. When I made the decision to study abroad my parents said I had an opportunity to see the world and were very supportive of that exposure, but they wanted me to come back to my roots afterwards to contribute to my home country.”
Jin found himself in the fortunate position of receiving a scholarship from the Singapore Government to study overseas in a country of his choice. His education took him first to Singapore, followed by England and Australia. “I come from a middle-income family so studying overseas was never part of the plan,” he said.
After finishing his degree at Nottingham University in England in 2011, he joined the Shell Graduate Programme in Malaysia. “I’ve had a lot of younger people ask me how important a first-class degree is. For me, it’s like a passport to a good job. But you also need more than just a degree. A degree will get you as far as an interview, but then you need to be able to talk about yourself, so my advice for young people would be to balance good academic results with extracurricular activities. You need to still enjoy yourself and have a colourful social life.”
Jin currently works for Shell as a Petroleum Technologist. “The interview with Shell was quite different to other interviews I’d been to,” he shared. “They wanted to know about me and what I’d done, not necessarily just my academic achievements.”
Just two months after starting on Shell’s Graduate Programme he was given his first offshore assignment. “Even though it was daunting, I felt supported throughout the assignment. The fact that I was trusted so quickly, really had a positive impact on my confidence. Shell’s commitment to my personal development underpinned my three years on the programme.”
So what exactly does his role involve? “If you imagine that an oil or gas reservoir is water in a cup and the well is the straw, then I look after everything that happens within the straw. It’s 50 per cent technical work and 50 per cent managing people. We’re called the integrators, integrating between the sub-surface teams and the surface teams. So I need to know a bit about both.
“It’s interesting and challenging. You don’t get the same problems every day and you talk to different people all the time. Their passion, enthusiasm and diversity of culture and ideas make every day a new experience for me. Working for a multi-national, multi-discipline company is the most enjoyable part of my job.”
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