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Ferro Schat, a Facilities Services Manager

"My job is to interpret the demand within Shell in a way that makes sense to the contracted supplier. It’s quite complex, because you’re dealing with many different stakeholders. In fact, I’m an interpreter and intermediary, which is very challenging in such a large organisation.”

We asked recent hire Ferro Schat, a Facilities Services Manager, what his expectations of working at Shell were like before joining, and how his first few months have been.

Ferro is a seasoned newcomer; an experienced hire who has spent the last five years as an interim facility manager within various profit and non-profit organisations. “I’ve fulfilled an interim role at various organisations,” says Ferro. “In some cases, I replaced the facility manager and I dealt with the day-to-day routine, but more often I assisted reorganisations as an Interim Facility Manager or resolved facility issues. In this way, I’ve taken a look behind the scenes and gained experience at many places.”

When I entered the premises for the first time, I thought ‘wow'

Hotel business

Ferro went to hotel school and later studied Facility Management. In 2010, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration after studying in the evenings in addition to his regular job. “My ambition originally lay in the hotel industry,” he says. “After my hotel training I had the opportunity to work in international hotels in Switzerland and the US,” something he says provided an excellent basis for learning how the industry works.

“I wanted to be a hotel manager by the time I was 25, and I achieved this,” he says. “But, ultimately, it didn’t give me enough job satisfaction. I was working and living in the hotel, which really narrowed my horizon. So then I decided to switch to something else.”

Varied experience

From the hotel industry, Ferro began to move closer and closer towards facility management, something he says covers a wide range of fields. “I’ve worked as a catering manager in kitchens and restaurants,” he says. “There are so many different disciplines in facility management – that’s where I discovered where the challenges really lie.”

The running theme through all of his work is service provision, something he says he’s always had a desire to follow. “I knew at a young age that I wanted to go in that direction,” he adds. The many different jobs he has had in facility management have shaped him into who he is today.

“With all the different experiences I’ve gained, I’ve become quite an all-rounder,” Ferro continues. “At one particular company, for instance, I set up a facility management organisation at the new head office of a major international airport. That experience still contributes to the work I now do at Shell. And because I’ve worked abroad, I’ve come into contact with other cultures. That’s very valuable,” he says. “Especially here in an environment where many different nationalities come together.”

Passion

He is now responsible for the services within Shell Real Estate. “That’s my passion,” he says. “By studying Business Administration, I’ve gained an even broader view of facility management.” It was during the course of these studies that he began thinking about re-joining a multinational. Soon after, he was approached by Shell through LinkedIn.

“When I entered the premises for the first time, I thought ‘wow’,” he says, adding that the mix of old and new in one building, and the well-structured organisation quickly had him itching to get to work. “In terms of facility organisation, an advanced model has been set up here: a service management organisation, which means that the degree of outsourcing is constantly being increased,” he says.

“This outsourcing model is very far-reaching by Dutch standards. My job in this context is to interpret the demand within Shell in a way that makes sense to the contracted supplier. It’s quite complex, because you’re dealing with many different stakeholders. In fact, I’m an interpreter and intermediary, which is very challenging in such a large organisation.” Regardless of the challenges he faces, Ferro is more than up to the task.

“When I entered the premises for the first time, I thought ‘wow’”

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