Even the way we select our feedstocks is courageous
”To understand why I enjoy working at Neste so much you need to understand my background. Before Neste, I worked at a fossil refinery on my home island Curaçao in the Caribbean for nine years. The facility was run by a Venezuelan motor company, and during my last two years, I could sense that the refinery was not doing well. I was done with the atmosphere of fear and secrecy and started to look for a new challenge.
What grabbed my attention about Neste was openness. With a lot of refineries, it’s really hard to find information about what they do, why, and how. With Neste, the whole story was there, you just had to click to find out all about it. It felt like Neste is the best pupil in the class that sets an example for the rest. The recruitment process was fast and transferring my family to the Netherlands went smoothly, as Neste took care of all the arrangements.
Adjusting to the European way of engineering is interesting, even though I studied in the Netherlands. The biggest difference compared to Curaçao is that there's a lot more regulation. Sometimes I don’t know all the answers at once, but at Neste, there’s room to explore things and do the research you need to do.
The Google way of working was also new to me, with video calls, open agendas, and sharing files. As an outspoken person, I really appreciate the openness at Neste. When everyone’s role and responsibilities are clear, there’s no pointing fingers and the work runs pleasantly and efficiently.
My biggest driver is the technical process itself. It’s an amazing feeling when you take something you piloted in a lab, scale it up, and actually see it working on site. As Operations Engineer, I’m involved in almost everything that happens at the plant. I love that I get to work in close contact with numerous departments. There’s also the exciting physical element when you climb up columns to inspect equipment.
I took part in defining Neste’s values in a workshop session where we expressed thoughts and ideas. ’The three C’s’, as we call the values, are very meaningful to me. Cooperation is essential as there’s a lot of interaction between departments. Caring is something I see in the way my colleagues ask me if I want a cup of coffee or how my weekend was, and I want to learn more about that mindset myself.
Courage is concretely present in the way we select our feedstocks. When other companies in the industry get a fuel formula right and start to make money, they focus on optimizing and running that same process for years. But that’s not how we do it at Neste. We never stop developing and exploring the boundaries of feedstocks, and I feel so proud of that philosophy.”