Louise Houweling on her internship at SHELL, the Hague

Louise Houweling did her internship at SHELL in the Hague, the Netherlands from April to July 2017.

My colleagues helped me to learn more and look at my work more critically
Louise Houweling

Between April and July 2017 I did my MSc internship for Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA) at Shell in The Hague, The Netherlands. To get the internship, I completed an online application on the Shell website for an Assessed Internship; the application consisted of various rounds. First, I had to upload my CV and cover letter, and apply for a specific department within Shell. I chose the ‘Health, Safety, Security, and Environment’ department, due to the focus on Environment. Once they positively assessed my CV I was invited to complete three short online tests: numerical, decision-making, and logical reasoning. After a week, I heard that I had completed these successfully, I proceeded to a telephone interview. This is the final round for applying to the Assessed Internship.

After having been offered the internship, Shell looked for an appropriate position that reflected their needs as well as my interests and the WUR ESA internship requirements. I was offered a position in the Shell Environment Group, in the water team. I worked on a project related to Natural Capital valuation, with a focus on water, conducting a literature review and interviews to better understand whether these concepts could be useful for Shell.

The atmosphere in the workplace was very nice, all my colleagues were welcoming and friendly and were always ready to help me. In the Environment Group there were weekly team meetings where I shared any updates on my project, as well as heard about what the other team members were doing. This helped me to get a better impression of what the Environment Group at Shell does. Another positive experience was that my project was taken very seriously by my Shell supervisor and mentor, which made me feel like my work was valued and appreciated. I was also challenged by my colleagues, who occasionally asked critical questions and gave me constructive feedback on my project. This helped me to learn more and look at my work more critically.

The Assessed Internship at Shell is one of the two ways to get an offer for the Shell Graduate Program. You are assessed on your performance throughout the internship and a final assessment which takes place at the end of the internship and consists of a case study exercise, a presentation, and an interview. The final assessment is quite challenging and it would help to prepare beforehand. Fortunately, I was successful and received an offer for the Graduate Program.

Overall, I highly recommend doing an internship at Shell for ESA students who are looking for a challenging, interesting project, and an internship with a steep learning curve. The internship also gives you the opportunity to learn a lot about Shell in general, and the initiatives that are being undertaken regarding environmental improvement. There are also many social events organized for interns and graduates which gives you the chance to meet new people and learn about what other interns are doing.