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Travelling the world with a passion for tech: Shen’s Story

4 September 2020
Since joining bp, Shen’s work as an IT project specialist has taken him to all four corners of the globe
bp employee Shen at work in a bp office

Shen joined bp Malaysia on the graduate training programme in 2011, after completing his Master’s Degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham. Looking back at what led him to pursue a career in IT project management, Shen reflects, “first and foremost, it was my love for technology.”


Nine years later, Shen’s passion for computers and engineering remains a crucial part of what he does. “The impact that the technology we deploy has on people’s lives means that their work can flourish, and this is what drives me ahead”, he says. bp uses multiple systems for a whole range of activities – from buying or selling commodities to maintaining machinery on a rig. As an IT project management specialist “my day to day is focused on pulling people together to plan how to best meet the needs of the business”, Shen says.


It’s all about making sure our IT systems are running smoothly.

Work that spans five continents

As well as allowing him to apply a love for technology in a practical and professional way, Shen values the global nature of his work at bp. His role has taken him across 5 different continents, and he’s visited a whole host of countries, including Azerbaijan, Angola and Australia.  “Most of the time, going abroad sees me focusing on business operations and working with other partners”, he says.


Working onsite means you gain a different perspective and get an understanding of what different teams go through.

Shen believes that experiencing a range of different cultures has broadened his horizons: “People work differently in every country and region. Adjusting to these differences, by being inclusive and understanding, means we work more efficiently”.


As well as leading projects in different regions, Shen’s work also has an international feel. He describes his role on the Upstream Backbone Project, where his focus is on a region made up of 3 countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The project helps bp employees maintain rigs and platforms as effectively as possible. For example, “if an engineer has a problem and sees that a lightbulb is not working, they can report it in the system. The entire replacement process will then commence – the system will work out how many lightbulbs we have in stock, plan for replacements, purchase extra if required, ship the stock, and allocate time for the replacement work”, Shen explains. This system can be deployed for something as simple as stocks of pen and paper, or for much more complex engineering items.


For Shen, seeing the value of his work is also important. “In having the right IT systems in place and deploying them appropriately, bp can improve as a business”, he notes.


If your systems are working properly, you can collect data which can be used to benefit society, by improving things like safety and carbon footprint.

bp’s unique working culture

Shen also values the way that bp employees embody the company’s purpose: “the good thing about bp is that there is always an impetus to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion. This mentality is great when it comes to fighting internal bias. It’s a very inclusive organisation.”

Despite the traditions that are commonplace in Malaysian culture, when Shen joined bp he remembers that the first few people he met told him to use their first names, rather than greeting them as Mr or Mrs. “This changed my mind-set a lot – I realised that at bp everyone stands on the same ground.”

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