How did you make the transition from being an Electrical Engineer to working as a business analyst at Shell?

When I graduated with an engineering degree in 2014, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make my career in. I figured IT might be a good idea because I did enjoy my limited exposure to the subject in my first year as a student. I joined a multinational IT company as a system engineer. But I wanted my career to progress in a slightly different direction, so I enrolled into an MBA course which I completed in 2018. During the course, I landed a three-month-long internship at Shell.

The experience of the internship at Shell was so different, in a good way. I loved both the project I was assigned to as well as the autonomy I was given despite being new to the organisation. I guess the company liked my work because I received an offer for a full-time role soon after I returned to college to complete my course. As soon as my MBA was done, I was in.

I was quite surprised to see the breadth of Shell’s IT operations. Like most freshers, unfamiliar with the sector and the company, I thought of Shell as only an energy company in a traditional sense. I knew it was expanding its reach but I saw the real scope of its IT transformation and expansion after I joined.

Swati, Business Analyst

What is your current role at Shell?

I work as a business analyst in functional excellence for Design Engineering. Our job is to carry a business idea or opportunity right from inception to development of a solution working alongside the natural team. The functional excellence team ensures that DE operate at peak efficiency. For me, as a product owner in the standardisation team, this means rolling out frameworks, bringing in new market standard tools, templates and revolutionizing ways of working that help make the job of business analysis easier, and up to standard and quality.

What were your first observations about Shell and the business function you joined?

I was quite surprised to see the breadth of Shell’s IT operations. Like most freshers, unfamiliar with the sector and the company, I thought of Shell as only an energy company in a traditional sense. I knew it was expanding its reach but I saw the real scope of its IT transformation and expansion after I joined.

I admire the autonomy we have to drive projects from beginning to end. There’s a lot of trust, no micromanagement, and you’re allowed to carve out your own space, lead your initiatives, and test new approaches.

Swati, Business Analyst

How has working at Shell been a different experience?

My role here is very different from what I was doing at my previous company. I admire the autonomy we are given to drive projects from beginning to end. There’s a lot of trust, no micromanagement, and you’re allowed to carve out your own space, lead your initiatives, and test new approaches. This ensures you have a lot of learning opportunities. There are also fewer hierarchy barriers. If I need to, I can go up to the department head working on the floor and talk to them. It’s an open culture. 

In addition, Shell is truly a global company. Business analysis, for instance, operates across the world from the Netherlands and United Kingdom to India, and more recently in China. I had the chance to work in the Netherlands for one year. At the time I was deploying lots of pilots. Now those pilots have been rolled out globally. When you work on something like that for so long and finally see your project going global it instils a sense of pride. Shell provides ample opportunities to do impactful work.

How do you feel your team and you contribute to the larger Shell vision of ‘Powering Progress’?

We contribute towards two goals under the powering progress movement: generating shareholder value and powering lives.

In business analysis, we build the foundation for all projects. We drive an idea, turn it into a project, and eventually deliver it. If we ensure the foundations are sound and at par with the vision, the business value goes up.

Concerning powering lives, every product we build impacts people’s lives in one way or another. For instance, the chatbot I’m currently working on for Design Engineering would help employees save a lot of time usually spent gathering and understanding information usable across projects. If I can improve the experience of a new hire with this chatbot, I’m powering their life and in the process, they can contribute to the larger energy transformation goal faster and more efficiently. 

What does your work-life balance look like right now?

Shell puts a lot of focus on employees maintaining a healthy work-life balance, so we don’t burn out. I have time to recharge myself. I’m a huge movie buff, especially courtroom dramas, so I get my fill of those. I also have multiple sudoku apps on my phone, so I can solve a quick puzzle while I wait for a call or in line at the grocery store. 

Change this paragraph to “More recently, I’ve developed an interest in Yoga. During the pandemic, I made use of my free time learning various asanas. Now, it has become a part of my life! Either in morning or in evening, I take time out for Yoga as it really helps me gather my thoughts better and also acts as an anchor amidst any chaos. I must admit I am not at pro-level yet, but here is to hoping!”

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