My experience with Shell India during the unforgettable summer of 2020 stands grossly overqualified for a mere article with my meagre vocabulary. It is the stuff of the corporate legends, things I had only dreamt about when I started my journey here at TISS Mumbai’s HRM&LR course.
I vividly remember how difficult it was to muffle my excitement on receiving my first ‘Welcome to Shell’ email in the middle of a college lecture and such was the anticipation that I spent the rest of the day browsing through their company website, in absolute awe of the richness of content one could find there.
For every MBA student, their summer internship is sacred not only because it opens doors to their future but also because it is everything you have spent the last one year preparing for, stressing for and desperately waiting for! While it was devastating for most of us that the entire experience was going to be a virtual one, Shell as an organisation had no qualms about prioritizing our safety and at the same time, they showcased empathy by being in constant touch with us and starting the internship on the date promised.
The onboarding was exciting, with all the interns together, getting to interact with the top management of Shell. We were addressed by the Business Heads for each portfolio, in an open-discussion format which essentially gave us the first glimpse of how approachable anyone and everyone is at Shell! The interactions were candid, supremely thought-provoking and made the perfect prologue for our enriching experience.
It is worth highlighting that the Campus team did an exceptional job in helping the interns settle into the virtual environment while making online introductions a cakewalk and super fun! There were plenty of ice-breakers and interactive sessions while ensuring our maximum consumption of the Shell culture.
With regards to quality of work, we all received hands-on projects that were organisational priorities and this enabled us to have a global outreach while understanding the scale and scope of the same. The mentoring mechanism at Shell equipped us with the ability to connect with anyone in the organisation whether they worked out of Poland or Manila, for getting even the smallest input on our projects. And the highlight here was that everyone welcomed our suggestions and perspectives with arms wide open.
The most fulfilling part about my Summers with Shell was the fact that I was associated with an organisation so enormous. I realised just how powerful the brand image of Shell is while I was conducting market research. I was able to connect with entrepreneurs from the most reputed educational institute in the world - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, simply because I was a representative of Shell. Additionally, deconstructing and understanding the complexity of a large-scale organisation like Shell is any HR professional’s dream come true! Being an HR intern, I got the opportunity to witness some of the world-class processes and policies that today guide a workforce so large, yet so close-knit.
In conclusion I would like to say, Shell's essence is best captured by its tagline – ‘Together, anything is possible’. From proactively answering the smallest of our queries about a process to moving the entire SIP to an online format, collaboration is the magic word that all Shell employees are well-versed with and its generous use weaves a rather surreal organisational experience for all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vaishnavi Verma is a final year student of Human Resource Management & Labour Relations at TISS Mumbai. An avid consumer of behavioural sciences research, she spends most of her time thinking how great it would be if she were to find out that her life was a social experiment all along.