Recent Grad Geotechnical Engineer On His Entry-Level Job With Shell Canada


Siddharth Nag recently graduated from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering and was hired by Shell Canada in April 2008.

He currently works as a Geotechnical Engineer in tailings and geotechnical engineering with the company’s Oilsands Division at the Shell Albian Sands in Fort McMurray, Alta.

For this feature, sponsored by Shell Canada, we asked Siddharth some questions about why he chose to work for Shell, how he was hired, what kind of training he received and why he continues to enjoy working for the company today.

“I get an opportunity to learn and gain experience by working under the guidance of experienced people in the field of engineering, management and operations.” —Siddharth Nag, Geotechnical Engineer

Q. What appealed to you about Shell Canada over other companies in the same field?
A. Shell Canada has always maintained a high standard of performance, ensuring that its products are delivered profitably and in environmentally and socially responsibly ways. Shell Canada is part of a global group of energy and petrochemical companies that has lot to offer in terms of vast intern and new graduate opportunities in Exploration and Production, Gas and Power, Chemicals, Oil Sands, etc.

Q. What was the interview process like and how did you tackle it?
A. I was initially interviewed over the telephone and was assessed in a few areas such as technical skills, achievements in academic and non-academic fields and relationship skills.

Upon successful completion of the telephone interview I was invited to attend a Shell Recruitment Day (SRD). At the SRD, I was assessed based on case studies, group discussions, business scenario interviews and a technical presentation. As part of my Civil Engineering degree I completed six engineering internships, hence I was well aware of the interview process. I wasn’t nervous and did well.

Q. What kind of training did Shell Canada provide and how did it prepare you for your current position?
A. I have had opportunities to work with consultants and enhance my engineering skills. Additionally, I have attended Shell Life, which is a leadership development program designed to provide new graduates with the skills, knowledge and behaviours to think and act as effective leaders throughout their career.

The aforementioned training and continuous support from my team lead, mentor and manager has also helped me tremendously in my current role.

Q. What’s the most valuable experience you’ve had in your career with Shell Canada so far?
A. I got an opportunity to work for Tailings Operations Superintendent Brad Balaski to oversee the External Tailings Facility Capital Projects in 2009. I was responsible for design implementation, financial planning and construction. Ensuring safety, cost control and performance management were my main goals.

Working with the Tailings Operations department has enhanced my understanding and knowledge of the field operations in the oil sands industry to utilize engineering project management in order to deliver on operational goals that meet the requirements of the business.

In acknowledgment of my contributions towards the Tailings Capital Projects, I was awarded a Special Recognition Award (SRA) by Shell.

Q. What is the best part of your job with Shell Canada?
A. I get an opportunity to learn and gain experience by working under the guidance of experienced people in the field of engineering, management and operations. Their continuous support has helped me diversify my experience with respect to financial planning, field operations and people management.

Additionally, my team lead gives me confidence and learning opportunities to gain vital experience that will help in my future roles in Shell.

Q. What would you say to other students and recent grads who are considering working for Shell Canada?
A. Shell provides an excellent platform for new graduates and students to grow and gain diverse experience by having solid support systems through training and mentoring.


A leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of refined petroleum products, Shell produces natural gas, natural gas liquids and bitumen, and is one of Canada's largest producer of sulphur.To start your Engineering career with Shell Canada, check out Shell’s company profile on TalentEgg or visit


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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.