Emma Stephenson took part in a Year in Industry placement at Shell EPE in 2004, she tells us about her experience...
I am originally from Belfast and decided to take a gap year because I knew I wanted a break from studying after finishing my A-levels and the opportunity to combine this with getting valuable work experience and getting
paid for it seemed too good to be true.
It can be a risk for companies to take on young inexperienced students but the trust and encouragement that I experienced gave me the confidence to tackle all of the projects assigned to me with enthusiasm and
dedication. The highlight of my time at Shell had to be the trip offshore to the North Cormorant platform in the middle of the North Sea. I got to fly out in a helicopter to visit the platform and whilst out there I gained some useful information to help with the project I was working on. My project helped Shell to reduce operational expenditure by £1.4 million and improved production by 400,000 barrels per year.
The support and help I received from the company throughout the year was magnificent and it was also great fun!
I had such a great year with Shell and was absolutely thrilled to win the prestigious Year in Industry ‘Contribution to the Business Awards’ 2005 including a cheque for £2000 which certainly helped when I started my degree course in the autumn and was also one of the highlights of my year.
After University I spent a year at home in Belfast working for Caterpillar as a Logistics Engineer. This has provided me with experience of a different company and has shown me how a large manufacturing company works and the logistic processes involved.
In December 2009, I went back to Shell as a Graduate Asset Maintenance Mechanical Engineer. I will be working with some of the same people I knew during my Year in Industry.
My participation in YINI helped me to stand out amongst other graduates in a tough job market. My experience with business improvement projects and my achievements during the YNII programme were integral in achieving a position in Caterpillar and they also helped me gain my place on the Shell Graduate Programme.
“YINI is... magnificent and it was also great fun!”