“At Shell India, we are committed to provide great career development opportunities for the young graduates and hence we focus a lot on our internship program. We seek feedback at every step of our internship process, both from the students & the institutes, to create a long lasting impression on young student’s mind”. Listening to Suryakant Pandey (better known as Surya, Graduate Recruitment Lead for Shell India) speak so vividly and passionately about the company, the work culture and the internship program, it was impossible not to believe him. Internshala recently caught up with him to get an insider’s view of the Shell India Internship program and his advice to the 2012 internship program aspiring students. The excerpts below are taken from a much longer discussion on education, career, life and power of choices. Read on…
IS – What all campuses does Shell India take interns from and usually when does the process begin? What is the normal selection process? Does Shell India take interns through direct applications as well? Also, does Shell India run a winter internship program?
Surya – Shell India has two types of internship programs. One is known as Assessed Internship program and the other is known as Non Assessed Internship program. The major difference is that for an Assessed Internship program there are 2 assessments done (mid-term and final) during internship and if a candidate clears both, then he/she is offered a career with Shell India upon graduation. In case of a Non Assessed Internship program, there is no assessment done. However, if a candidate does well in the internship, he/she may get invited for a job assessment later on based on the opportunities available.
Assessed Internship programs are 7-8 weeks long and the applications are invited from premier engineering colleges of the country (IITs, ISM Dhanbad & MIT Pune) from the students studying in Petroleum Engineering, Geo/Earth science, Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical & Civil Engineering branches. Non Assessed Internship programs are 2-9 months in duration and applications are invited from Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) Pune, & Kolkata. Both the internship programs offer internships in technical areas. So far Commercial internships (MBA) have been happening in an off campus fashion but Shell India is exploring to formally launch a summer internship program for premier MBA institutes from this year onwards.
The Assessed Internship process for technical graduates usually begins in January and final selection is made by 1st week of April post various rounds of screening (CV based pre-screening followed by a project fitment based business short listing, and finally a 45-60 minutes telephonic round). The actual number of interns hired depends on number of projects available every year. Shell India does not offer a winter internship program.
IS – What is SHELL INDIA’s thought process and philosophy behind giving so much importance and focus to the summer internship program? Why does SHELL INDIA make this investment?
Surya – Shell India wants to provide relevant industry experience to students by giving them an opportunity to work on real live projects. We believe providing meaningful internship experience is of utmost importance. This on one hand gives us an opportunity to assess a student over a longer period of time and helps us with our graduate sourcing goals. But more importantly, the internship is a great opportunity for a student also to assess Shell India from a long term career perspective and make an informed choice about the organization. I am proud to say that ~ 75% of our assessed interns have been offered a PPO (pre placement offer) every year for last 2 years and almost all the offers are accepted on the spot! It is this internship experience that Shell India seeks to create and makes investment for.
IS – When SHELL INDIA recruits summer interns, what are the qualities, behavioral traits that you look for among students?
Surya – Shell India follows CAR framework for evaluation & assessments. CAR stands for Capacity, Achievement, & Relationship. A brief explanation on CAR is as follows –
Capacity means ability to connect dots, analytical thinking, and ability to think broader perspective and come up with creative and innovative answers.
Achievement means ability to devise, plan and execute a strategy, to identify obstacles and to deal with them effectively, and to build a contingency plan and alternate solution.
Relationship is ability to identify your stakeholders, respect for diversity and inclusion, and ability to influence and communicate effectively.
A candidate is evaluated on all 3 parameters along with technical assessment before making a selection or hiring related decision.
IS – What kind of projects the interns are given to work on and what mentoring and guidance support are available?
Surya – All the interns work on live projects and most of the interns are based out of Bangalore while the scope of the project may be anywhere in the world where Shell operates.
All the interns are assigned a mentor, a supervisor, a coach, and a buddy. A mentor is usually a fairly senior leader in the organization who knows the process in detail and is usually a discipline lead. A Supervisor supports and guides an intern in day to day project work. A Coach is a technical expert who provides help & guidance on technical piece and a Buddy is more of a friend who helps an intern settle into the new work environment and can be reached for any informal help also.
IS – In your experience, what are top 3 common mistakes interns make during their internship which you would like to caution future aspiring interns against?
Surya – I’d rather focus on positives and list 3-4 things that an intern must do in order to have a great internship experience.
- Be true to the type – reflect who you really are. Any artificial cover wouldn’t last long
- Be more aware/observant – collect more facts
- Be inquisitive, ask questions – to others and to yourself
- Go external – get networked
IS – Any specific advice that you may want to give to the student readers who may be aspiring for an Internship with SHELL INDIA and may apply when you invite applications next year?
Surya – It goes back to identifying your stakeholder (Shell India in this case) and influencing the stakeholder. I’d encourage students to find out about the current focus areas / needs of Shell India as an organization, collect more facts and then build CV & competence accordingly. Alumni & seniors can be an excellent pool to reach out to find out this information and use it to your advantage. Understand and internalize the CAR framework and develop yourself accordingly in time to come. With these basics in place, there is no reason why you cannot make it to Shell India summer internship program.
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