Written by: Sarah Marsden
Looking back on my summer in Houston, it’s hard to believe how fast it flew by. I mentioned in an earlier blog that I had four major projects to work on and complete and at first it seemed a little overwhelming. All of my projects were fairly lofty and I quickly realized that I simply did not have the information I needed to complete these projects on my own. This turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise as it forced me to get out and network with professionals across the business to gain the information I needed to complete my projects. For example, one of my assignments consisted of designing a standard interview packet that could be used across my department, Global Functions, when interviewing internal candidates for positions. I needed to decide what kind of information would be beneficial to include in the packet and then come up with questions that were general enough to be applicable across all positions throughout my department. In order to get a better idea of the interviewing techniques and materials already being used, I ended up meeting with HR professionals across my department as well as professionals in Recruitment, Upstream, Legal and Equal Employment as the packet got into its final stages. This was a wonderful opportunity to not only collect information but also a chance to meet with professionals in all different areas of the business and learn more about their individual career paths both before and since joining Shell. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how willing people were to meet with me and share their experiences, regardless of their professional level, and I quickly learned the value placed on building relationships at Shell. After just 3 short months with the company, I feel like I have an entire network of professionals that I can turn to with questions or for advice.
Even though I was given plenty of autonomy on my projects, my boss and I met on a bi-weekly basis to check in and talk about any support I might need along the way. Shell also does a great job of making sure each intern is matched up with a “buddy” (recent hire, close in age) where you have more of a peer-to-peer relationship. My buddy worked directly in my department and was a wonderful resource to turn to for advice, enjoy informal conversations about Shell with and to ask any questions I was afraid might be “stupid questions.”
Fun Networking Events
In addition to building relationships at work, Shell did a wonderful job of making sure to set up fun opportunities for us to network with other professionals outside of work. At the very beginning of summer, when I first arrived in Houston, I was invited to attend an Astros Game with the other HR interns in the Shell Suite at Minute Maid Park! Lots of free food, fun and a great opportunity to meet leaders from across the business. As the summer came to a close, I had the chance to tour the Shell Deer Park refinery, 20 minutes outside of Houston. This was an amazing experience as I had never set foot in any type of manufacturing facility before and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about yet another area of the business.
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at Shell and was excited to hear that I had been extended an offer to come back next summer for a full-time position in Recruitment. I’m excited to see where this opportunity takes me. Thanks for reading my blog this summer! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about Shell, life in Houston, or HR in general. Take care!