Jasmine, Finance Manager Generation and Assets, shares how she got her start at Shell, highlights of working in Europe and Iraq, and how professional experiences have shaped her perspective on leadership.
I am the Finance Business Partner to the Executive General Manager for Generation & Assets. This can mean anything from supporting with monthly reporting for operational generation assets such as our gas-fired peaking power stations, to supporting investment decisions and readiness for bringing new generation assets online, like Shell’s Gangarri solar development. Finance ensures value and risks are fully understood across the entire value chain, so I work with stakeholders from a variety of business areas. This generally means the work remains diverse.
I have been working in the energy industry since I started my career eight years ago. Even over this short period of time, I have noticed a major shift in Shell’s approach towards the industry, with a particular focus on decarbonisation and a genuine acknowledgement that our only option to remain competitive is to partner with customers and societies to shift towards more sustainable energy solutions.
I am proud to work within Shell Energy to be a part of that energy transition, partnering with New Energies to increase investments in renewables and move towards a carbon neutral future.
My Shell career has been extremely colourful so far. My career highlights include working offshore for a week in the Southern North Sea as a Finance Advisor in the Netherlands, experiencing a helicopter flight to Cape Leveque in Western Australia as part of my logistics finance support to the Prelude project, and most recently, a two-and-a-half year stint in Iraq as part of a joint venture working on the world’s largest gas flaring reduction project. Teaching Iraqi women how to speak English was something I never thought I would experience when I embarked on a finance career! I am now very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Shell’s first solar development in Queensland and I look forward to seeing it in the flesh.
Energetic, positive, open-minded, and collaborative. Despite joining a completely new area of the business during COVID-19 restrictions, I have found the environment extremely welcoming and inclusive, which is very refreshing.
I have also thoroughly enjoyed the increased flexibility, as it has allowed me to spend more time doing things that I love. Working flexibly has allowed me to go for a surf at sunrise, followed by a spot of yoga and a delicious home-made breakfast with a tea, all before starting work for the day!
I have found that I am generally a lot calmer, level-headed and less tense during the workday because I am able to start the morning with something that brings me a lot of joy and contentment.
So far, I have found it to be the people. There seems to be an air of passion for the Shell Energy vision and a real buzz among teams. There is a huge expanse of expertise across all areas of the business and I have really enjoyed learning from a diverse range of people from energy traders, to project engineers and power station managers.
Over the last six years I have worked with, and guided, many of our offshore finance support staff in Kuala Lumpur, Chennai and Krakow. More recently, I have mentored Iraqi finance colleagues and supported their journey towards becoming finance professionals. I am most passionate about creating a safe and inclusive learning environment where everyone’s opinions and contributions are respected as being equal, irrespective of job grade.
My style is to provide gentle encouragement to a more introverted or shy team member to come out of their shell and gain confidence, which gives me alot of personal satisfaction. I enjoy striking the right balance between providing enough leadership direction to guide people with their work, whilst allowing enough space for them to experiment, learn and make mistakes. Most importantly, I encourage people to bring their true selves to work, in whatever capacity that is. I try to encourage this by being authentic myself.
There will always be a demand for energy in some capacity, so I like that the sector will be constantly evolving to meet new challenges and will always have a tangible link to me in some way (through my own personal use of energy).
I am very excited to see how the next 30 years progress as the globe moves towards some major 2050 climate commitments. Think wind, solar, electric vehicles, and new technologies that we may not have come across yet!
Maintaining an open mind, remaining agile, being resilient to change, constantly striving to do better and challenging the status quo.
My approach has always been to stay true to your values, be yourself, and remain authentic. Honesty and authenticity will foster a more open and collaborative working environment. Be curious, speak up when something doesn’t feel right, build relationships with stakeholders ahead of time and be open to both giving and receiving feedback. Demonstrating vulnerability is something I have always admired in all leaders and therefore I also strive to do the same. At the end of the day, we are all just human!