Trisyella Jothiraja recalls how her two-day assessment for joining Shell left her exhausted but elated. A year later, she happily reports that things are still as exciting as when she first started.

She said: “You don’t just learn about your role. You learn about teamwork, the people and the business. I’ve also learned a lot about myself – what I can do, areas for development, how resilient I am. My capacity has been unleashed.”

Trisyella studied at Monash University and spent seven months at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark before returning to her home country for the final semester. Once she’d completed her degree she applied to join the Shell Graduate Programme.

“I was intrigued when I went for my first interview with Shell,” she said. “The culture in the office was very different to the culture outside; there were people from different walks of life and leaders from various countries. It’s really multi-national.

“I had another interview for a similar role at the same time, but Shell was just on a different level. We solved business cases, we met with business leaders… It was very interesting and I really wanted to work there. A few days after my interview, Shell called. They shared their feedback and let me know what I did well and which areas needed development. Then they gave me the news I was hoping to hear. It was an emotional call for me – I was happy, excited, nervous, scared and petrified – all in one go.”

Trisyella spent her first year with Shell as a Credit Analyst before becoming a Finance Advisor for Manufacturing. Now she’s discussing her progress and next career step with her line manager and leadership team in preparation for her completion of the three-year programme.

“It’s a fun, but steep learning curve,” she said. “There is a lot you have to learn and you’re trying to do it in a short space of time. That’s particularly challenging but it’s not a bad challenge. It’s helped me learn to manage my time and resources and to work better with colleagues. It’s pushed me whereas I’d have probably taken baby steps otherwise. In the future I hope to be a regional Finance Manager. I know there is a lot of learning to do but I’ve been given the opportunity and I’m working towards it.”

With the effort comes the reward though. Trisyella describes the Shell Graduate programme as a holistic education that provides colleagues with the skills to do their jobs,  an overall view of the business and an understanding of how their role fits into it.

“I’m getting an understanding of how operations support the business and how business can support operations in return. I’ve learned how other functions relate to my role and how I can collaborate better to make an impact.

“When it comes to people, I’ve worked with colleagues from different backgrounds and different countries, learning how they think and what their values are. There is also a lack of hierarchy here – even graduates tend to speak with top leaders and take advice from them. In Malaysian culture you’d rarely get that opportunity.”

That’s one of the reasons why, despite the global opportunities within the company, Trisyella is more than happy to stay in Malaysia.

“Spending time abroad was amazing and I learned a lot of things, but home is where the heart is. At Shell I’m able to contribute in my home country while still gaining international exposure. I get the best of both worlds, and that’s a rarity.”

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