What was your career journey before joining ExxonMobil?

Aida: I’m originally from Kyrgyzstan, which I left when I was 17 and got a bachelor’s degree in Cyprus. After that I travelled around some more, moving to Switzerland, Russia, and Norway and now I am in the Czech Republic. I have two Master’s Degrees and here I am working on my Ph.D. at Charles University. I started at ExxonMobil about two years ago and I’d say it’s my dream job, since one of my degrees as well as my current PhD work is in energy management. Finding work at an energy company after my studies was ideal. I’m also happy that I can utilize my language skills.

Kristina: At age 16, I left my family and my home in order to pursue my education. I dreamed of becoming a leader. I was able to achieve that goal by acquiring an education in the United States and the Czech Republic. In 2015, I received a grant to attend the Student Academic Conference in Albany, New York where I presented my research, Gender Income Inequality (GII). My primary goal was to make people aware about the reality of gender wage gap in our society and try to find solutions to it. Upon graduation with honors, I have become a strong believer that education and knowledge are equivalent to power; therefore one should be open-minded and ambitious to learn. My diverse working experiences in varies countries and cultures allowed me to obtain a career within one of the largest oil and gas corporations in the world, ExxonMobil.

Aida

What got you interested in Exxon as a potential employer?

Aida: Besides the work being connected to my own interests and studies, I think that it’s great for people to work in large, international companies, where both your tasks and the environment are varied and interesting. Plus, ExxonMobil has built a very strong brand and employment with them comes with considerable prestige.

Kristina: I grew up in Kazakhstan, the 11th richest country in oil reserves. I studied in Houston for almost 7 years. Houston, Texas is the energy capital of the world. I have been interested and always surrounded by talks about perspectives in the world of energy.

Moreover, I can relate to ExxonMobil because we have similar interests. ExxonMobil cares about some of the causes that I care about: such as fighting the Ebola outbreak or supporting Common Core education standards.

Based on ExxonMobil’s equal employment opportunity, I strongly believe that I will be given all the opportunities to test my expertise to excel and rise to the top. In addition, it will give me the full opportunity to pursue my dreams in developing a successful career in oil and gas industry.

Kristina

What are the main differences between working at ExxonMobil and your previous professional experiences?

Aida: I have previously worked both in the private and the government sector. There are many differences in the management style and the work environment here, which appears to me to be specifically open and more dynamic here than elsewhere. As someone in a country that is new to me, it helps to have a certain structure and to know what tasks are required of me. On the other hand, there is definitely a lot of room for personal creativity. Most of all, you feel at ExxonMobil that others care about you and care that you do your job to your own personal satisfaction.

The work environment, the management style of a company is truly amazing: you are trusted, you have a lot of room for further personal development. It is pleasant to acknowledge that the interests and mission of a company as well as principles are highly ethical and go with your personal values.

Kristina: I find ExxonMobil as a company which sincerely cares about its employees. Moreover, ExxonMobil proactively promotes inclusions and diversity at the workplace with the existence of such internal organizations as WIN (Women's Interest Network) and PRIDE (The Peoplefor Respect,Inclusion,and Diversityof Employees). In addition, safety is a priority for the company. ExxonMobil has a vision of a workplace where “Nobody Gets Hurt.”

What does your typical work day look like?

Aida: My first job was being in charge of communicating with Turkish customers and keeping up the good relationships between ExxonMobil and the clients. Every day I start with looking at what my tasks are, reading emails and so on. The great thing about working here is that you can adjust your work hours.

Kristina: Since we provide services globally, our Prague Business Support Center has several operational hours and working shifts. I am working as Senior Customer Master Professional in the Global Marine team. Our team has regular operation hours.

ExxonMobil really cares about its employees’ safety and health. As a result, all employees are offered a “Fit Stop”. The “Fit Stop” is a short work out session with a trainer who comes into the office. Moreover, all our office space is furnished with ergonomic equipment.

The company supports long-term professional development, through offering an enormous range of on-site and online trainings. ExxonMobil also offers a variety of workplace flexibility programs.


What makes you happy at work?

Aida: The environment in here is great and the team is full of open-minded, diverse and easy-going people. Since I don’t have my family with me in Prague, my team is the most important group of people here for me. The warm atmosphere of professional people makes my days pass with joy.

Kristina: An opportunity to learn something new every day.

What is your personal experience at ExxonMobil? What are the requirements for these who wants to join the company? 

Aida: You will have to be very motivated and want to grow. If you have these abilities, you’ll do fine at ExxonMobil since you will have many opportunities to learn. Open mindedness will help you to fit in our teams easily.

Kristina: ExxonMobil seeks to develop a diverse workforce of highly-talented individuals who are dedicated to integrity, high-quality work and good corporate citizenship.


What makes you happy outside of your work? What do you do in your free time?

Aida: The most of my time outside of work is dedicated to studies and hobbies. I find Prague to be a very expat friendly town and there are plenty of places to visit and explore. As a Political Science student I am interested in learning about countries and cultures. Prague is a place where you can have a chance to learn about new cultures on a daily basis.

Kristina: I am a member of BSC Social Club, which is offered by ExxonMobil. It enables me to do lots of sports and group activities during my free time in Prague.

Also, I am a founder of the #LeanInUNYP circle at University of New York in Prague. The existence of the circle such as #LeanInUNYP intends to serve all women in achieving their ambitions. It gives an opportunity to share ideas, to get support for professional, educational and personal goals. I want to encourage more women all over the world to “Lean In” to decrease the gender ambition gap and develop equal opportunities in their careers.

How would you compare your expectations before joining vs the reality at ExxonMobil after more than one year?

Aida: I was expecting to find a work place which will meet my expectations of “ideal job”. My expectations were: nice environment, kind colleagues, sustainability concept in all areas, work-life balance, my belief system vs company’s mission, continuous development, international environment. After one year of working in this company I realized that I got what I expected.

Kristina: My expectations have been met. I am thirsty to grow and want to make a valuable contribution to ExxonMobil Family. The company fully supports my enthusiasm and develops me further.


What do you like the most at ExxonMobil and what would you change if you had the chance?

Aida: I like that you as an employee have trust and support of your employer. You have room for personal development. What would I change, maybe simplify some of the processes and make them less hierarchical.

Kristina: I align with the core values of ExxonMobil, such as operational integrity, respecting human rights, safety, ingenuity, Diversity and Inclusion. As a leader in my current role, I continue to seek out opportunities to motivate teamwork, collaboration, achieving results the way.