In the driving seat
Joining Shell has not only put Engineering graduate Jia Lin Chong in the driving seat of her career journey, but also enabled her to contribute towards making the fuels she uses every day.
Whenever Jia Lin Chong refuels her car at a Shell service station she feels proud of her contribution towards making the products on sale. “I stand on the forecourt and think to myself, hey, I’m part of this!” says Jia Lin, who works as an Oil Movements Technologist, overseeing fuel blending and product quality. “I find it really exciting that I’m involved in making so many people’s journeys possible, and also part of a company that’s finding innovative ways to contribute to the future of energy, too.”
Jia Lin had her first experience of working with Shell as an undergraduate. She studied chemical engineering at Imperial College London on a Malaysian government scholarship. During her time in Europe, she interned with the company in the Netherlands. This gave her a taste of the opportunities available to engineers. After graduating and returning home, she decided to apply to join the Shell Graduate Programme in Malaysia.
As a Graduate Engineer with Shell, she quickly progressed from providing operational support to her colleagues to taking on higher responsibility.
“I do a lot of trouble shooting now,” said Jia Lin, “working on fuel projects and being in charge of projects to install new equipment. It’s exciting to get involved in making the fuels we use every day.
“The Shell Graduate Programme has a very good structure and I have a framework setting out the competencies I should achieve by the end. I’d like to go forward to take charge of a process unit, or even be in charge of a complex refining technology one day. However I’m open to all opportunities. Moving forward depends on my own initiative.”
Working with people from many different areas and backgrounds is great for her development, said Jia Lin.
“I’ve developed a lot of skills, especially on how to communicate with people 20 to 30 years my senior. Getting your point across when someone is a lot older than you can be daunting at first but I’ve gained a lot of confidence and respect. I have a great, close-knit team to work with. The people are innovative and supportive. My colleagues come from different disciplines and have a broad range of expertise. So if I’m working on a problem I’m not familiar with, someone can help me.”
One of the highlights for Jia Lin was the opportunity to be involved in a major maintenance shutdown of plant equipment. “It’s quite a rare opportunity and may not sound exciting to everyone, but it is to an engineer! During a major shutdown we open up the equipment, get to go inside and have a look at it. In university, we studied what it would look like but didn’t get chance to see for ourselves.”
Does Jia Lin have any advice for someone looking to join Shell?
“Yes, give it everything you’ve got. Do your research, apply and do whatever you can to be successful. It’s a great company to work with and anyone coming out of university can learn so much from the Shell Graduate Programme.”
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