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Jiaqi Chen, a Researcher in Gas Conversion in Projects and Technology

"In the Shell culture the multicultural mix, global perspective and professionalism all go hand in hand."

We asked recent hire Jiaqi Chen, a Researcher in Gas Conversion in Projects and Technology at Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam (STCA), what his expectations of working at Shell were like before joining, and how his first few months have been.

Jiaqi studied chemical engineering in Beijing, but, following his master’s degree, he had the opportunity to come to the Netherlands to do his PhD. “The university in Beijing has good connections with several Dutch universities,” he explains. “But before I could officially be accepted, I first had to come to Eindhoven for an interview. That was in April 2008.” It was the first time that he had ever been abroad.

After his interview at the university he flew straight back to Beijing, but just five months later he packed a large suitcase and left for the Netherlands, where he planned to live for some time. Today he says he feels at home where he lives in Eindhoven, and commutes to Amsterdam by train.

“The Dutch are open and friendly, and you can easily connect with them,” he says. “When I arrived at Schiphol, the first thing I noticed is that people are a lot less hurried here than in China. I like that. When I boarded the train to Eindhoven, almost immediately someone struck up a conversation with me. They wanted to know everything. Where I came from, what I was going to do here. I think it’s nice that people are so interested.”

At home at Shell

Following the completion of his PhD, Jiaqi found that Shell was the place for him to develop his career. “In 2011, I had the opportunity to visit several different companies. But I chose Shell because my work here is closely related to my studies,” he says. He points out however, that it wasn’t just the work that attracted him to the organisation.

“The Shell culture appeals to me too. The multicultural mix, global perspective and professionalism all go hand in hand,” he admits. “I feel in my element here. Wherever you go, people hold the same values: happiness, integrity, working spirit. That’s something within you and you take it with you wherever you go. Perhaps that’s why I found my feet so quickly in the Netherlands.”

The future

Has he thought about his future at Shell? “Yes,” he says. “For the first seven or eight years I would like to continue working in Technology and R&D. This will give me a solid foundation. After that, I might want to move to the production side, project management or to a strategic area.” He considers himself a perfectionist, someone who likes learning new things. “That’s all possible here. I could not wish for a better place to be than at Shell right now.”

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