Just Getting Started
Just three years after graduating university, Vincent Jiang found his dream job as a Contracts Analyst. He reflects on the experience he’s gained so far and looks ahead to what comes next.
One day Vincent Jiang was sitting in a lecture hall at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, studying commerce with an interest in project management and the law. The next, he was travelling all over the country as a Contracts Analyst for Shell. His interests soon transformed into a career.
From Fort MacMurray to Calgary, Vincent has worked in many locations with “exposure to a huge network of people.” Today, he is based at LNG Canada Development Inc., a joint venture company comprised of four global energy companies with substantial experience in liquefied natural gas (LNG) – Shell, PetroChina, KOGAS and Mitsubishi Corporation. To Vincent, his role is more than just a tremendous opportunity; it also has personal significance.
“As a Chinese Canadian, I’m personally aware of the huge problem of air pollution in China caused by smog and coal-fired power plants. My grandmother suffers from asthma that clears up whenever she visits Canada,” he says. “Natural gas could help contribute to cleaner air in China.”
While his travels have brought him to new places, Vincent admits he does feel lonely at times with each assignment. However, the “informal community of grads and interns” has made a huge impact, providing company and support at every new project. “I’ve met some of my best friends through work,” he says proudly. In addition, Vincent has been exposed to a myriad of professional networks available at Shell for new grads, noting that there are almost “too many to keep track of.”
Not only was he able to form a close-knit group of friends, Vincent has also found support from an insightful mentor and “highly approachable” senior managers. He admires how they “take an active interest in developing young staff [by] building people up and taking care of them.” What has impressed Vincent the most is that they not only make an effort to get to know the recent grads and interns, but also “go out of their way to make opportunities available.”
Vincent has been shocked by the “remarkable level of responsibility” recent graduates are given. Very early on in his role, he was handling “contracts and initiatives worth millions of dollars”—and he has continued to work on impactful projects since then.
“There seems to be an infinite amount of interesting work available for those who want to take on more. And you learn fast when you’re doing work for people who are experts in their field,” he says. “I’m always growing and knowing more than I did the day before.”
While Vincent is excited by the amount of responsibility he has taken on, what he is truly fueled by is the difference he can make through his assignments. “We get to work on real-world projects that address some of the most pressing problems facing civilization,” he says. Namely: developing cleaner energy. Vincent believes that Shell represents “one of the key solutions to the world’s energy problems”—at Shell, people have the technological resources, innovative thinking and experience to make change happen.
“Shell scientifically understands the energy challenges facing society better than anyone and is in the business of selling solutions that work,” he says. “It’s really exciting to be part of that.”