We recently caught up with Amaani about securing a role with Shell, how she built up her commercial awareness before the interview and her top tips for Bright Network members looking to follow in her footsteps.
What stood out to you about Shell?
What stood out to me the most about Shell was the work-life balance the company offers its employees. Shell invests in you and your potential and, because of this, they really value having a strong work-life balance. Not only does the company encourage you to go beyond your limits in the workplace, but there are also constant reminders to look after yourself and your family, to make meaningful relationships and to strengthen your mental health. I love the fact that I can finish my workday and still have time to spend my evenings socialising with colleagues or meeting up with friends. Striking a good work-life balance is one of the most important attributes a company should have and Shell really does value this.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I split my preparation into three distinct areas to explore: What is Shell? How do they make their money? How has the industry been affected by past economic affairs and what can we foresee as challenges the industry will have to tackle in the near future? I found that using this model to build commercial awareness was extremely productive because, in order to fully answer each question properly, you find yourself answering other related and relevant questions. You end up with a broad but in-depth overview of the firm and the industry and when you attend interviews and assessment centres your answers will naturally demonstrate preparation, will reflect commercial awareness and will sound well thought out and logical.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
Always voice your thought process. Most interviewers are seeking to understand your thought process and how you came to the answer or conclusion that you did rather than assessing whether you came to the right answer or conclusion. More and more companies value and are looking to recruit a diverse group of people, and this includes having a team of diverse thinkers. So regardless of how you've come to the conclusion that you have, no matter how silly you think it is, explain and think aloud.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
Whilst I was at university, Bright Network would hold lots of different networking events that I attended. Attending these events exposed me to so many industries and firms and this helped me understand what I valued in a firm and where my interests lay. Bright Network helped me define my choices and make my applications much more purposeful rather than falling into the trap of doing blanket applications. From this, I was able to make my applications more defined and meaningful rather than generic and this resulted in successful applications and many job offers.
I took part in the Bright Network Internship Experience UK Technology track and this really provided me with some valuable and transferable skills that I didn't expect to have. I took part in Internship Experience UK because I had had no previous exposure to the technology industry prior. The programme taught me about technology as an industry and about the agile framework - something which cropped up during my training when I started my graduate scheme. I was so grateful that I had attended Internship Experience UK as my understanding of the agile framework definitely came in handy when my training commenced.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?
The toughest interview question I have faced has been 'Where are the red herrings in this data set?' Sometimes you want to analyse every single piece of data presented and, by being too overly analytical, you forget that there are some data points that should not sway your judgement maybe because the data has not been cleaned or some data points are misleading because external factors have influenced the outcome. This is for you to recognise and voice to the interviewers in order for them to understand why you think they are red herrings. I tackled it by making sure I understood and kept in mind the overall trend of the data. This helped me identify outliers and I was then able to contextualise my answer to explain why I thought they were red herrings.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Your personality is your key attribute. Always be yourself, know your values and carry yourself in your own style.
- There will always be a few positions you feel are out of your reach - apply to them. You may find yourself wondering how you landed the position after you take that leap.
- Your degree does not define what you do next. If you have the passion and the motivation, you really can succeed at anything you put your mind to.