“In Qatar, we have a lot of social obligations but Shell is great in understanding everyone’s culture and supporting us.”

Asset Commercial Advisor Ibrahim Al-Derbasti knew he was making the right choice when he joined the Shell Graduate Programme in Qatar. Speaking of his tremendous pride about working for Shell, he believes the company’s diversity makes it stronger and more successful.

He explained: “As a leading global company managing huge energy resources, Shell is the place to be. The business is important, but the company will always value its people as the top priority. I have always felt appreciated here and feel as if I’m part of a diverse family of highly qualified and ambitious people – there is always someone you can learn from.”

When he first joined in 2010, Ibrahim had a mentor as well as coaching and development training: “I had the opportunity to learn from people from all over the world – India, Egypt, the UK, the Netherlands and America – and their support was tremendous. It really is a cosmopolitan environment and it’s interesting to hear people share their experiences. I think the more diverse we are, the better.”

Ibrahim’s will to learn and hard work paid off; he received the Award for Excellence as the Best Qatari Employee across the entire company just a year after joining, celebrating his performance, delivery, collaboration and leadership.

He describes winning the award as the proudest moment of his career:“My talents and efforts were recognised and that makes me feel as if my achievements are not just confined to the company but that I am making an impact in my country.Qatar is now preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and we can bring our knowledge to that too. Shell wants to be part of the wider community.”

Ibrahim has also grabbed the opportunity to work abroad for a while and he moved to the Netherlands soon after joining Shell. This experience made him more confident and allowed him to explore new cultures.

“Spending a lot of time outside my comfort zone and far away from family and friends accelerated my learning experience and I will always appreciate that. I think the potential for growth and innovation in Shell is huge because you can be offered the opportunity to work abroad. But similarly, I also see a passion for wanting to develop local as well as international talent. I have opportunities abroad and at home – it’s the best of both worlds.”

The opportunity for promotion may be part of Shell’s appeal for Ibrahim, but it’s the people that keep him here. It’s thanks to this support that he’s learnt how to balance his work and home life. He says: “There’s so much honesty and transparency, and that two-way dialogue is vital. In Qatar, we have a lot of social obligations but Shell is remarkable in understanding everyone’s culture and supporting us. I’ve found that Shell values performance, not time spent in the office. This benefits the company and employees like me.”

What advice would he have for other Qataris considering applying to Shell? “It’s so important to have passion and the energy to drive yourself, but also be humble enough to accept others’ advice. Shell relies on Qataris to grow the company, and bringing this local knowledge and experience to a diverse organisation with many different cultures and backgrounds is great for Shell and for your career.”


“In Qatar, we have a lot of social obligations but Shell is great in understanding everyone’s culture and supporting us.”

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