Shell’s people provide energy solutions to communities around the globe. But beyond their day-to-day roles, an increasing number are enriching the lives of others through volunteering. 

Take Charlotte Lim and Elizabeth Yap, for example. Both are currently on rotation in the Shell Graduate Programme working, respectively, as a Finance Analyst at Shell Manufacturing Singapore, and as an HR Advisor in Shell Singapore. 

Helping communities to help themselves

On weekends, Charlotte and Elizabeth volunteer for a local non-governmental organisation called Aidha, leading computer workshops for foreign women employed as domestic workers.

“Shell encourages us to have a good work-life balance, which helps me take the time to do these things,” says Elizabeth.

It was Charlotte that originally invited her friend Elizabeth to join Aidha. Both hope that the women attending will be inspired to start their own businesses or invest in a business back home. After more than two years of teaching, Charlotte can say many of her students have done exactly that, applying newfound skills to help their local communities.

“I am well aware of the opportunities I’ve been given in life,” says Charlotte. “A part of me just wants to help someone else out where I can. It gives me a sense of fulfilment and joy.”

The workshop covers basic computer skills which will be essential in helping Aidha students to move forward as well as offering an effective and free way of communicating with loved ones.

“Many of our students have never used a computer before or have limited experience," explains Elizabeth. "Our goal is to have students feel confident using the computer.”

The decision to volunteer was an entirely personal one, though both Charlotte and Elizabeth admit the additional skills they bring to the office on a Monday morning are invaluable.

“I’ve learnt a lot about leadership and communication,” explains Charlotte. “I’ve become more precise in my communication style.”

Social enterprises 

Building on her talents, Charlotte also volunteers her business knowledge to two other organisations. 

The first is Freedom Cups, a social enterprise that aims to make reusable, eco-friendly menstrual hygiene cups freely available to women in hard-to-reach, developing areas. 

She also works with charity Lions Befrienders, holding annual events which aim to connect elderly members of the community.

“We have quite a tight-knit group on the Shell Graduate Programme and it was my colleagues that came along to these events,” she says. “They really enjoyed it and are keen to be involved.

“By organising these events, I get exposed to working with external stakeholders, as well as a sense of ownership and accountability over resources.”

What made Charlotte and Elizabeth choose Shell?

For both Charlotte and Elizabeth, the allure of Shell was a friendly, community culture that gave them a chance to make an impact on global issues.

“I love rotation on the Shell Graduate Programme,” says Charlotte. “I’m now based at an island refinery on Pulau Bukom and it’s a different culture to elsewhere, and even though there are thousands of us on the island, it’s a very homely community.”

Elizabeth adds: “My managers at Shell have always encouraged us to pursue our passions and grow ourselves outside of work. I think, culturally, they respect your life outside of work as much as you respect your work. I’ve moved across several teams in Shell and that’s always been the message, wherever I go.”

Discover why a career at Shell could give you the opportunities to follow your passions and make a meaningful difference. Explore opportunities at Shell here.

And you can read more about Shell employees volunteering, with EarthWatch and FreshWater Watch.

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