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three people walking in a Shell plant

As a female engineer, Lolwa Al-Sayegh says that the ability to make a positive difference with a strong support network around her were top priorities in choosing the right graduate programme.

Shell’s global presence and its ability to make a positive difference to the societies where it operates were qualities which attracted Lolwa Al-Sayegh to enroll in Shell’s Graduate Programme.

Even before graduating as an electrical engineer with a Bachelor in Science from Texas A&M University in Qatar, Lolwa had been interested in working in oil and gas.

“Shell was recognised then, and still is, as one of the best in this sector,” she noted. “So Shell was always on my radar as a potential future employer. I’ve been fascinated too with the development over recent years of Shell’s Pearl Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) facility here in Qatar. It’s the world’s largest.

So I’m really pleased, and my family is also very proud, that I’m working for Shell as a graduate and also involved in the Pearl GTL facility. I’m part of a project which is helping meet the energy needs of the global market.”

Lolwa has been working for Shell for three years. Her current role is Power Generation and Distribution Engineer. Her role involves substation and field activities and ensuring equipment is running well, including preventative maintenance, inspections and testing.

“As a female electrical engineer graduate, having a mentor was a key factor in me coming to Shell. I work in what’s traditionally been a male-dominated industry and profession. So I expected more challenges for me because I’m a woman. I was delighted to find that this isn’t the case.  I’ve found Shell’s culture to be open and inclusive. It’s shared globally within Shell across countries and cultures.

I’m a good example. Shell’s culture accepts and promotes diversity more than ever before.”

In considering a mentor, Lolwa said, “I knew I needed a professional who lived this culture, who was open-minded and who I could trust, as well as being friendly, honest and open with me. As a mentee I also wanted to be inspired and motivated by a mentoring session and to leave with a positive outlook. Not much to ask is it?” Lolwa asks with a grin. “Fortunately Symon ticked all those boxes.”

Lolwa’s mentor is Symon Hoy who is Site Maintenance Manager for Shell’s Pearl GTL facility and a Shell employee for the last 33 years.

“When I started out as a technician, Shell offered me a comprehensive training and development programme in electrical engineering,” Symon proudly observed. “Three decades later Shell still invests in people in the same way. Just look at Lolwa’s experiences in her first few years.”

Concerning Lolwa’s progress as a mentee, Symon said: “From the outset, Lolwa impressed me as a bright engineer who was keen to learn and develop. She’s also shown confidence with her ability to make gender in this industry a non-issue, which is as it should be. She stays focused on the job, improving her skills, building helpful networks and developing the business.”

Lowla’s advice to students who are considering an employer’s graduate programme is: “If you’ve got the qualifications, think about Shell if you want a solid foundation to kick-start your career. Shell provides a range of work experiences during your programme across a number of business functions. This exposure often challenges your preconceptions about where you want to go. And that’s great.”

“If you are up for that sort of challenge and you’re open-minded then I encourage you to think about a career with Shell,” added Lowla.