Feature | Organisation


ExxonMobil is committed to being the world’s premier petroleum and petrochemical company. It is dedicated to engaging in high standards of business conduct as well as best employment practices to grow its people.

Freddie Tan, who has been with ExxonMobil for seven years, tells us what drew him to the organisation and kept him engaged through the years.

What attracted you to ExxonMobil?

Freddie Tan: There were a few reasons. Firstly, it was the company’s reputation. Its established history and leadership in the industry were definitely factors. Furthermore, my friends and seniors who were already in ExxonMobil shared several experiences that highlighted the company’s authentic investment in its people. That provided me with a glimpse of what ExxonMobil was as an employer.

For me, the deciding factor was when I learnt of ExxonMobil’s culture which supports on-the-job learning and development.

When I found out that there was a job opening for a Machinery Technician in 2009, I decided to take a leap of faith and applied for the position. I was very happy to be offered the role and have not looked back since.

Freddie Tan

Freddie Tan
Singapore Site Maintenance Utilities Machinery, First Line Supervisor

What do you do at work?

Freddie: As the Utilities Machinery First Line Supervisor, I oversee and manage a team of technicians. Part of the role requires me to ensure that tools, spare-parts or components are available for planned maintenance jobs. I also map out the training schedules for the technicians in my team, so that they are kept updated of the latest equipment and the ones that require maintenance or repair.

When I am on the ground at the integrated refining and petrochemical complex – which is ExxonMobil’s largest in the world – my key responsibility is to look out for the safety of my technicians, as well as to ensure that the work carried out is aligned with the company’s standards. When issues arise at the plant, I will head out with engineers to identify the root cause before determining the best and most effective approach to resolving the issue.

“I look forward to work every day as I not only get to work alongside my friends, but I am also able to unravel new challenges.”

Describe ExxonMobil’s culture.

Freddie: ExxonMobil’s culture has a serious and a fun side. Although ExxonMobil is a publicly-listed company, the safety of our people is the top priority. Everyone has a part to play in actively caring and looking out for one another. Among us, we work towards a common goal - “Nobody Gets Hurt”.

As for the fun side, the ExxonMobil Singapore Recreation Club provides opportunities for family members of employees to join the large ExxonMobil family. Besides large-scale events such as the company’s Dinner and Dance or Dragon Boat Carnival – where are our family and friends are also invited, the club organises subsidised activities such as wine appreciation classes, diving trips and even durian parties for employees too!

Any memorable experiences thus far?

Freddie: It dates back to my first year of work. My then-supervisor gave me the opportunity to take charge of a pump overhaul. Her trust in me built my confidence and the hands-on experience allowed me to develop my technical skills and knowledge. Within six months, I was able to refit the pump on my own and the senior technician in my team was impressed. The generous exchange of knowledge at ExxonMobil is one element that has kept me engaged and challenged in my work through the years.

What was the interview process like?

Freddie: It was a fun experience. After asking me the “formal” questions, I recall the remaining session to be a casual chit-chat conversation. It was a very comfortable process and I felt at ease the entire time.

What are the key qualities valued by ExxonMobil and why?

Freddie: ExxonMobil believes in hiring top talent and is committed to developing each employee throughout their career with the company. The organisation is large enough for one to go through multiple job rotations and stretches you to your fullest potential.Instead of someone who views short-term career benefits such as salary or leave provision, ExxonMobil looks for someone who is able to have a long-term view of their career. Other key qualities include having a keen willingness to learn, enthusiasm to try new experiences and being open to feedback for improvement.

What is the secret to success in ExxonMobil?

Freddie: As cliché as it may sound, I believe it is passion. Quoting the late Steve Jobs, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Having passion in your job makes work fun and interesting.

What else can you tell fresh graduates about this dynamic organisation?

Freddie: Working in ExxonMobil is like being part of a big family. We enjoy each other’s company, have fun together, and work towards a common goal. I look forward to work every day as I not only get to work alongside my friends, but I am also able to unravel new challenges. In fact, I am still learning new things even after seven years with the company! Work at ExxonMobil is definitely not mundane. ExxonMobil’s main objective is to contribute to society by producing and supplying energy to meet the needs of the world. If you are looking for a company that makes significant contributions on a global scale, then ExxonMobil is the place for you.