Melvin Lau originally left Malaysia to study Environmental Engineering at The University of Melbourne, an opportunity that he knew would give him the chance to become more open-minded and experience what life was like in another country.

Having completed his Masters, however, Melvin faced a conundrum – should he stay in Australia for work or return to his home country?

He applied to Shell’s Graduate Programme in Malaysia, not expecting much of a result, but after a vigorous interview process, Melvin was delighted to be accepted as one of Shell’s new graduates, meaning that he would be returning home.

“I am so pleased to be close to my family – that is something I really value,” he said. “I also wanted to make a difference in my country.”

Although Melvin didn’t know how his skills would be utilised or how he was going to get the right training and development, his nerves were quickly put to ease when he sat down with his line manager to discuss his personal development programme. “Everything was set out clearly, giving me a good sense of not only what was expected of me as a new employee but also what I could expect from the organisation in return.”

Melvin hopes to complete the three-year Graduate Programme at the end of 2016, after which he wants to move on to Shell’s Advanced Technical Programme (SATP), which should take another four years. Like the Shell Graduate Programme, the SATP is based on technical disciplines and job area competencies. The focus is on-the-job tasks and workplace assignments, supported by core and discipline-specific learning activities. SATP also includes structured coaching and mentoring programmes to support on-the-job learning.

Melvin’s time on the Shell Graduate Programme has been a real learning curve.

“The opportunities for me to learn are endless. There aren’t many organisations out there that can offer such a dynamic learning opportunity and work environment. You work on things that really make an impact, but you are never left alone to do it. I have been given the right training and support to perform to the best of my ability.”

For him, the perks of being part of an international company are never-ending. He describes his colleagues as welcoming and friendly, creating an environment in which a work-hard, play-hard philosophy is encouraged and everyone, regardless of job roles, is approachable.

Melvin has also had the opportunity to travel to Singapore and the Philippines for work. But, in what he admits seems something of a cliché, his favourite part of the Shell Graduate Programme is actually the job itself.

“Shell has enabled me to develop myself both professionally and personally and I’ve learned to be precise in obtaining and sharing information and assertive in standing up for what I believe in.”

He wouldn’t hesitate to encourage other young graduates to join the Shell Graduate Programme. “It’s been such an incredible experience for me and I would advise others to just go for it. At Shell, you can be yourself, regardless of your role or who you’re working with. It is vital to uphold the values and principles that you believe in and over here everyone is respected for who they are.”

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