Sean Lee

Never behind the 8-ball

When I was hired by ExxonMobil in 2009, I had to adapt to an entirely new environment and work culture. Before joining ExxonMobil, I served in the Singapore Navy for six years, and then I worked in another petrochemical company for 10 years. In both organizations, I did some physically tiring work at times!

At ExxonMobil, though, it's a different type of challenge: I get to work with the latest technology. From the control center I help monitor the live operations for one of the units at the Singapore Chemical Plant, on a real-time basis. It’s actually quite fascinating that through our LED screens we can track a whole array of data, such as the process conditions, and product quantity and quality, to ensure that our unit operates efficiently and safely.

To become a senior lead process technician at ExxonMobil, one has to be ready to take on challenges, including learning new technology and processes. The tools I currently use include complex IT programs that help me run our maintenance program effectively.

Since the Singapore Chemical Plant produces a significant portion of ExxonMobil’s chemicals worldwide, proper maintenance is extremely important. It’s complex work that involves a myriad of computer programs that help us operate the plant smoothly. Working in our control room has been a real learning journey for me, and it has been very rewarding. I am now more adept with technology than I’ve ever been.

I’ve learned new skills not just here in Singapore, but beyond its shores. That’s the beauty of working for a global company such as ExxonMobil. About two years ago I spent three months training at our manufacturing facility in Baton Rouge, and later that year I got to spend a couple of weeks at our refinery in France.

I got some great operational insights from my colleagues, both in the U.S. and France. ExxonMobil, because of its size, is home to many cultures and experiences. That diversity is an incredible asset. To put it simply, it draws out and enables multiple perspectives and ideas, which helps the team tackle and solve issues.

When my workday ends and I get home, my attention is fully devoted to mentoring my teenage daughter and son. One thing we like to do together is play pool. It’s my passion. I’ve played for decades, and I recently started teaching my children. It’s fun. I get to pass on some cool tricks to help them up their game. And you know what? They’re getting really good – sometimes they even teach me new skills. What can I say? Whether at the plant, home or abroad, I am always learning and sharpening my skills, and through that process, continuing to discover and stretch my potential.