I’m Cherie Lew, a Shell HR Business Partner based in Singapore and I want to tell you why I love working in Shell. But before I go into the three reasons, let me start from the beginning. Like any good love affair, here’s the part where I fell in love. During the recruitment process, when I was prepared to be judged by the letters on my transcript, Shell asked me questions about my values and aspirations instead. Where I expected standard replies from Shell and fretted about being evaluated in my first assessment centre, Shell surprised me with warmth. I was gently reminded that I held an equal power to assess the company for their fit to me. At the end of the day, saying “yes” was an easy choice; I felt accepted for who I am as a person, instead of simply what I had achieved as a student.

I can still remember the joy I felt as I managed to secure a job in Shell when I graduated in 2014. My three years in Shell under the Graduate Programme was an exciting journey of self-discovery and growth. I shared many of my firsts with Shell and was always well-supported, even in my failures. The above picture is me with my first Shell mentor Martha Fernandez. Her illustrious, four-decades-long career was one of many firsts, like being the first female Shipping Supervisor. She was my pillar of support, cheering me on from the sidelines and never holding back on giving me opportunities to sharpen my thinking. Our mentoring relationship was a safe environment where I could be honest with my views, and I could count on her to understand and give the right advice.

Shell is my ‘first love’, and many have asked if I intend to stay. I do, and I have three great reasons.

Firstly, I have enormous confidence in Shell's leaders. I’ve been blessed with great managers and mentors in Shell. These are leaders who gave me room to make mistakes, who supported me as I learnt from my blunders, and who celebrated with me as I grew through the challenges. In fact, I struggle to write a caption that does justice to what a great leader my first line manager, Shanton Mowe (pictured here), is, and how much I’ve learnt from him. Here we are picking up a 2014 iChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) Singapore Award, which recognised our Shell Graduate Programme for developing the best industry performers.

The second reason why I love working in Shell is the diverse, brilliant and wacky people I get to work with on a daily basis. I’ve always received overwhelming support from all around to help me assimilate into the company and learn the ropes quickly. There are also many networks within the company that I can leverage to expand my social circle and engage in meaningful activities outside of work hours. I think this ethos shines through in this photo of a Shell Experience Day, one of the first events I organised, as part of our campus outreach initiative. I loved the autonomy I was given on this event, deciding how I would like to deliver on my KPIs and taking charge of the marketing budget.

Last but not least, my third reason is Shell’s values. Shell employees share a set of core values which form the basis of how we work and make decisions: honesty, integrity and respect for people. This might seem trivial, but I’ve come to realise how much influence these values have in enabling me in the workplace. For example, Shell encourages us to volunteer, and we have a network in Singapore called ‘iVolunteers’, which organises activities that all Shell staff can attend. This picture is of one of our volunteer events where we sang karaoke over tea. The old lady holding my hand was singing the chorus. 

When I left Recruitment, my line manager, Janice Pamplona, gave me this little book of inspiration. It’s very special to me. When I was looking for a job after graduation, Shell offered me a career. Looking back, I have absolutely no regrets. While I’m certain that there are many other good opportunities out there, those given to me in Shell are embedded with great leaders, great colleagues and great values – that’s a combination that others can’t match. It has been three wonderful years with Shell, and this is only the start of my journey.

I’m powered by autonomy. I’m very self-motivated and when I have the freedom and trust put in me to take charge of a project I find it extremely rewarding. I’m also grateful that I found this group of close friends in Shell that I can rely on for support and encouragement through the difficult times.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the individuals featured and are not representative of the views of the Shell group of companies and their affiliates.

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