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HR vice president, Raoul Bollen

“I enjoy working in a sector that truly matters.” This is the view of Raoul Bollen, a mentor in Shell’s Graduate Programme. “This industry has relevance for people, countries and future generations.”

Raoul Bollen has been with Shell for 15 years. Originally from the Netherlands and a holding a Master’s degree in International Business from Maastricht University, his current role is Shell Vice President HR, Middle East, North Africa, Russia & Caspian. He is based in Muscat, Oman.

Raoul’s early international studies continue to influence his outlook. “I knew from the start I wanted to work in an international environment and company. I saw Shell as the highest quality employer in that space. The company had real international exposure. Also, the people I met from Shell during my interviews and assessments were from diverse backgrounds and all represented great professionalism.”

“Taking an international perspective continues to help me solve HR and other problems, as well as collaborate with my peers across the globe,” Raoul said.

Raoul notes that his mentoring role helps his own career in numerous ways: “Being aware of Shell as a reputable employer, helped shape Raoul’s style of mentoring. Mentoring allows me to listen to a talented new joiner. As I work in HR it’s helpful to hear about their world and the business they are in. It’s energising.”

Concerning his mentee Maher Al Bayaty, Raoul notes: “My first impressions were that he was very well prepared and thought a lot about his career and personal growth opportunities. From the beginning he balanced being ambitious with being humble. He is open to feedback and is realistic about his development. If he keeps it up he will go a long way with Shell. Given his background I see an increasing appetite to think beyond HR and see what a dynamic and important business we are in.”

My main advocacy for Maher has been to learn as much as possible about our business.

HR vice president, Raoul Bollen

Career path opportunity and diversity at Shell remain important professional motivators for Raoul personally as well his role as mentor. “Shell provides a lot of choice. You can always get advice and coaching if you ask. The diversity in the roles I’ve had is enormous.”

While being ‘open to learning’ and ‘resilient to deal with complexities’ are important qualities for those interested in Shell’s Graduate Programme, Raoul especially values ‘being inclusive’. “Perhaps it’s my international view, but I strongly believe you have to enjoy working with people who solve problems differently and think differently to yourself. If you are inclusive then the first two qualities follow.

“I encourage any graduate, especially those with these qualities, to think about Shell’s Graduate Programme. It might open the door to an international career.”