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Intern (now Production Operations Graduate)
Priya Khanna studied B. Eng / B. Commerce at Monash University
How did your 12 week assessed internship give you an insight into Shell?
It provided the opportunity to work in many levels within the organisation and across different teams. It allowed us to see the interactions within teams and between teams and understand the importance of a collaborative work environment that is key to Shell’s culture.
Having your own individual projects allows you to develop a deep understanding into one unit/idea/problem but also have the freedom to ask many questions about the whole plant not just the one area. This gave me an understanding of the complexity and the dangers of the oil and gas industry
You are provided with your own Shell email so you are able to connect with many different people easily.
During my placement I was given an actual problem to solve and felt like I had a purpose at the refinery.
What type of work did you do during your internship?
On my first internship, I had three different projects all focused around unit optimisation and monitoring. They were very hands on and I was located on site in one of the field centers. My second internship was much more lab based and I worked on modelling and multi variable data analysis.
How would you describe your experience?
The opportunity was extremely beneficial. Hands on site experience gave me much more in depth knowledge of the chemical engineering industry which I could take back to university and apply to my final year design projects.
Additionally, it gave insight into what the industry was like and showed the opportunities available from studying a chemical engineering degree. It is a great opportunity to learn about the industry in a really welcoming environment where questions are encouraged.
How did your internship prepare you for your career?
Undertaking the internship gave me hands on experience with Shell processes such as HR online, email, outlook and just being familiar with their processes. It also allowed me to ask many different people with different experiences their views on working for Shell and working in the oil and gas industry. Finally, it provided me with knowledge to apply to my design project which got me better marks.
Did your internship provide an advantage when starting the graduate program?
Yes, by experiencing an internship you already know a lot about the business, from processes and systems such as IT system, HR online, through to things like, how to ask questions to the right people, understanding the culture, the importance of safety in the workplace, expectations of the job and exposure to pressures of the oil and gas industry.
What makes Shell’s internship program unique?
Having your own project which gives you responsibility and makes it easier to ask questions and gain respect from the people you’re working with. The culture is so great for learning; everyone wants to help you and pass on as much knowledge as they can to you; you never feel like you can’t ask a question. There is such a strong safety culture that you feel safe and it’s a great way to be introduced to the industry.
Why should today’s students apply for an internship with Shell?
It’s a great opportunity to get your foot in the industry door. What’s more, you can set yourself up for a graduate role. Opportunity to experience a safe and great learning environment. It’s also a very structured program which adds value and ensures you have support from lots of different people at different levels within the organisation.
What can students expect?
Expect to feel overwhelmed with the amount of information coming in and to feel under pressure to deliver good results, but never in a situation where they can’t ask for help. You will be surrounded by a group of people who want to help you, including your buddy, supervisor and mentor. From day one, you will feel like a member of the team that you are working in.
Any advice to students applying to internships?
I would tell them not be afraid to ask questions; just try not to ask the same question twice. Always take as many opportunities that they can to get on site and to ask for advice and work with different people. Also, have a go at any task that is given to you regardless of the difficulty. Be sure to stay motivated and work as hard as you can. Try and be resourceful; there are a lot of different people and they all know a lot and have a wealth of experience that they are more than happy to share. Try and tap into that knowledge as much as possible!
It was the best experience throughout my entire degree. So great that I chose to do it twice.