Joined the global retail engineering team and worked on a project to explore opportunities to improve and expand the Shell retail business.
I thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience of being an assessed intern at Shell. It was pretty well structured with clearly defined outcomes that I should be achieving throughout the internship. I felt that I did some meaningful work that can positively impact the business. On the whole, it was a great internship.
My colleagues were all extremely friendly and welcoming when I first started interning. I did not have much of a problem getting along with everyone and everyone seemed to be excited about having me on the team for the summer.
However due to my inexperience in the business, I can't say that the project I worked on during the internship added much value to my colleagues, which is very understandable.
Due to the fact that I was placed in a global team, most of my colleagues and supervisors lived abroad or worked from home, hence I could not reach out to them at times simply because they are not in the office. As such I often did not have as much support and contact time with my manager and supervisor, compared to other interns who worked in local teams.
Overall, the amount of support was still satisfactory but I wish there could be more.
I was often left alone to work on my project, which involved a lot of internet research. I usually did not sit in for meetings with my manager and supervisor as the meetings were usually too technical or not relevant to my project. I had more than enough time during the 12 weeks to finish my project I was assigned to.
In hindsight I wish I could have been involved in more activities alongside my project.
I was entirely responsible for the outcome of my own project, which entailed a lot of time management on my part and independent working.
However, when it came to other activities that would affect a lot of colleagues (e.g. leading meetings and presenting information to key stakeholders), I was not given much of an opportunity to be responsible for such activities.
I would say that over the 12 weeks of interning, I have learnt far more than I ever did in my 2 years of undergraduate study at university.
I had the opportunity to hone my interpersonal skills such as teamwork, time management, public speaking, etc. I am confident that I am a more effective person in the workplace and at university.
Overall I would say the internship is easily one of the most valuable experiences I have had to date as a student.
Overall the atmosphere was extremely welcoming and friendly throughout my entire internship. I never once experienced any unpleasant encounters with the colleagues at Shell. Everyone that I reached out to for help usually did not turn me down and were very accommodating to my needs. Everyone at Shell is generally very helpful.
I really appreciated that my line manager and supervisor at the beginning of my internship set out very clear guidelines and deliverables that I should achieve at the end of my internship. They even gave me a timeline of what I should be doing to help manage my time. This far exceeded the requirements of supervisors, as some of the other interns I spoke to did not have such a well structured project and program.
It was very clear to me that both my supervisor and line manager were very invested in my personal development throughout the internship. They often checked in on me and gave me a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism that I found very helpful in improving myself. I could also feel that they took a personal interest in seeing me improve, which I am very appreciative of.
After speaking to many colleagues from various business sectors in the organisation, it was clear to me that I was spoilt for choice in terms of how I could progress my career at Shell. There are many roles available which are usually open to all degree backgrounds and experiences, which gives me a lot of freedom to tailor my career progression according to my interests and skills.
Across the entire downstream business at Shell, there were very few interns. However, there have been many events and social gatherings arranged by the company to allow fellow interns to interact and socialise. The amount of events wasn't too overwhelming either. I am glad to say that I have made lasting friendships at Shell because of all the opportunities I got to work with them and spend time with them.
It is no surprise to anyone that working in London will cost you an arm and a leg. Especially for interns who do not get paid as much as normal employees. More than half of my salary that I got from Shell went to paying my rent, bills and food. Hence I was not able to save much of my income or spend it on socialising outside of work.
However, I really appreciated the fact that most of the company organised events were sponsored by Shell, which gave me quite a few opportunities to enjoy myself with fellow colleagues.
London has great nightlife, with various clubs and bars everywhere around the city. I was definitely spoilt for choice in terms of the range of things I could do after work with friends and colleagues.
The only thing again, was that everything was much more expensive than other areas of the UK, which is extremely limiting to a student on a budget.
As my project was quite demanding, I spent most of the day in the office. I did not have much time on weekdays to do other activities apart from exercise and housework (which is pretty standard anywhere). However on weekends and after work I was grateful that I rarely needed to do work outside of office hours. Thus I still had quite a bit of time to myself to do what I wanted.