How did your journey with Shell begin?
I was born in a small village in the Andes, surrounded by nature. My parents encouraged me to love nature, so I grew up very connected to it. After I left school I decided to study Biology at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, but after a year I realised I loved nature on a larger scale.
I’ve always been passionate about mountains; I could look at them for hours and analyse their forms and height. That’s when I realised studying Engineering Geology would give me the opportunity to combine the things I liked, so I moved first to The National University of Colombia, and then to Utrecht University in the Netherlands to do a Master’s in Exploration.
During my master’s I took an internship at The Geological Survey of the Netherlands and it’s there I first realised that working in geology and being surrounded by geologists was important to me. Then, in 2011, I joined the Shell Graduate Programme as an Exploration Geoscientist.
Can you tell us a bit more about your first role?
I was placed in a great team with a wonderful manager, an amazing technical coach and on an interesting project. My project team were great colleagues and eventually we became very close friends – we felt like family!
My manager took care of my development from day one. I was slightly nervous about my contribution as a graduate to a well-established team, but I shouldn’t have worried. Besides making sure I was developing technically, my manager also took into account my previous knowledge and experience and helped me find out how my team could benefit from it. It was a fantastic environment where we all exchanged knowledge.
What opportunities have you had so far?
I love the fact that I get the chance to collaborate with other companies. Doing fieldwork is also really exciting, as I love being with nature, which is where my passion for geology began.
One of my favourite opportunities has been the chance to get operational experience in Jordan. Not only did I learn a lot, but my colleagues became my friends as we explored new ideas and landscapes together.
What advice do you have for other graduates hoping to apply for a role on the Shell Graduate Programme?
It’s an opportunity to begin a career in the energy industry and continue learning at the same time. I discovered one benefit of working for a large company like Shell is access to world-class training. Shell makes sure we receive training that is relevant to our role as well as what's essential for us to reach our potential.