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My growth at Neste: “Versatile experience within Neste has provided me good perspective and enhanced cooperation across teams”

The welcoming atmosphere and Neste’s transformation journey to renewables convinced Martine Scheepstra-Wols to join Neste in May 2016. Her career journey at Neste has changed with different engineering positions in several different technical departments and viewpoints. Now as a Reliability Supervisor she works together with her team and other Neste colleagues improving safety processes and ways of working. 

Martine started as a Process Engineer working with long-term operations at Neste’s renewables refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Soon she continued her career development journey focusing on day-to-day performance as an Operation Engineer. 

She considers her versatile experience in different technical departments to be an advantage: “It has really been valuable to see how the refinery is operating from different perspectives. This has helped me to understand issues that different departments face and how we can help to improve from all angles.”

Now she is a Reliability Supervisor in the maintenance department in Rotterdam. With her team, she works with risks and safe working processes, for example analysing incidents and near misses. 

“The best part of my work is the way we work together. I like being an engineer deep diving into issues but now as a team lead I am also focused on the bigger picture: what are our focus areas and how can we cooperate with all our stakeholders,” she explains. 

Journey towards Neste and chemical engineering

When Martine was 17 years old she visited a local refinery for the first time with her parents. The tour held on an open day was a defining moment for her future career plans. 

“It was fascinating to see how you start from one component and then it goes through the pipes and something completely different comes out. You have the process in your fingers and you have the power to adjust and finetune it. After the refinery visit, I knew I wanted to study chemical engineering. A few years later I took my parents on a similar tour to my workplace at the time,” Martine smiles.

Before joining Neste, she worked in the plastics industry, during which time her understanding of the importance of sustainability and circularity strengthened.

“It was overwhelming to see the huge amount of plastic going through the system. I wanted to work in a company that is working towards a more sustainable future and way of working,” Martine explains.

Flexible and caring ways of working 

Martine has been surprised how fast Neste is growing while maintaining still a lot of flexibility.

I really like how Neste is supporting development. It is always possible to try out things. If you have a good idea that might work, you have the flexibility to work on it and bring it forward.

Martine has recognized that the flexibility is present in other ways with employees’ private situations too, especially when the pandemic started. 

“Remote work was challenging with small children as you could not really take your eyes off of them for more than five minutes. I was amazed how understanding the atmosphere was at Neste. There was never a push to go beyond your limit and everyone’s diverse home situations were recognized,” she tells.

“At Neste, I have always felt cared for,” she sums up.