What kind of person does Shell employ? In a company of our size and scale, we get all types. But one thing that unites them is they’re the best at what they do, whether they’re scientists, engineers, marketers…or Olympians.
Anke Jannie Landman, Senior Reservoir Engineer at the Schoonebeek oilfield, in the Netherlands, pushes her extracurricular activity to the very edge. She’s a world champion and Olympic speed skater.
“I participate in short and long track competitions, and I’m the current sprint world champion and world record holder in the ladies’ long track, ages 40 to 44 category,” says Anke Jannie.
Anke Jannie took part in the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics in short track speed skating. She still competes today in the regular women’s competitions. And she’s still winning.
“In 2015, at age 40, I won a medal at the National Short Track Championships and won the Europa Cup Short Track. That was 20 years after I won the first national title.”
Anke Jannie is also a passionate engineer. She chose Shell as it offered the chance to research while working in a business environment. She’s been at Shell for 11 years, having worked stints in Rijswijk, Houston, Muscat, Bakersfield and Assen.
To keep her pushing her skating goals, Anke Jannie agreed flexible hours with her line manager, to free up more training time in winter. Anke Jannie remarks on the support she receives from colleagues and her leadership team: “They’re proud of my achievements – some come to watch and cheer me on.”
Five ways skating helped my engineering career
It’s not hard to imagine why Anke Jannie’s not-so-secret second life complements her career. Here’s how being a sporting champion makes Anke Jannie succeed at Shell.
- I’m confident and focused
“Skating gives me a feeling of strength; it requires planning and focus. I gained a lot of confidence from my recent achievements as a speed skater. It’s all about the belief that as long as you set your mind to something and focus on your goals, a lot can be achieved.”
- It makes me reach higher
“I was asked to be a coach in 2013 and immediately said yes. I had already started skating long track again in 2012, after a 10-year break from the sport. Being on the ice as a coach made me realise how much I wanted to do it again myself, even though for a long time I considered myself too old. Initially the plan was just to train short track, but it went so well I decided to compete again. That resulted in a medal at the National Championships where I was up against much younger competitors. My next goal? I want to set a world record at 1,000 metres long track skating in my age group.”
- It enhances my resilience
“When I am on the ice, my thoughts are completely on skating. Also the physical exercise relieves stress and enhances my mental fitness and resilience. I get pleasure from gliding over the ice: the speed I generate and achieving my goals.”
- I’m more assertive
“As a coach, dealing with other coaches, skaters, parents, and trying to improve the quality of training sessions requires communication and influencing skills. I practise short track with a group of young skaters, aged 12 to 16 years old. Because of my achievements, they respect me more as a coach. I am still faster than most of them!”
- I inspire others
“It’s a great feeling to be told that I am an example for the youth and an inspiration to people of my age and older, who see that you can always keep achieving your goals.”