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Media Releases, 22 July 2020

Equipping Graduates with Real World Experience

Equipping Graduates with Real World Experience
The ExxonMobil PNG Graduate Development Program offers graduates with engineering and professional degrees a challenging and exciting opportunity to gain valuable insight through working with industry experts and mentorship.

Since day one, ExxonMobil PNG’s (EMPNG) approach to workforce development has involved creating local jobs and training Papua New Guineans in technical and professional skills.

With a belief its workforce is its greatest asset, EMPNG knows the investment it makes in its workforce today is what will sustain and grow its business well into the future. 

As part of this commitment, and to accelerate the development of its national workforce in select fields, the company introduced the Graduate Development Program in late 2018 to target graduates with professional backgrounds in accounting, business, law, information technology, and science. 

The public’s initial response to the program’s launch was overwhelming, with EMPNG receiving over 1000 applications for the first cohort. 

The program offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to gain valuable insight through working with industry experts and mentorship. Over the course of three-years, graduates are based at the head office in Port Moresby and complete rotations across key business areas such as production, safety, health, and environment.

Charveen Sandhu, Human Resources Manager at ExxonMobil PNG, said the response to the Graduate Development Program has been incredibly positive with both graduates and EMPNG staff mutually benefiting from the experience. 

“The program has been highly successful in providing graduates with an understanding of corporate values, with participants of the program being provided exposure to real work that has contributed to delivering key business results” Charveen said.

The first intake of the Graduate Development Program participants recently celebrated their first year of success with a ceremony at ExxonMobil Haus share their learnings and to mark the beginning of their next developmental rotation.


After graduating from Divine World University with a degree in Mathematics and Computing Science, Damaris joined EMPNG’s IT department working with the Digital Projects team.

“I have been challenged with situations and made mistakes, but I wouldn’t change any of these as they have all allowed me to continue to learn and develop new skills, both behavioural and functional, that only a real-world business setting can provide. 

“I have learnt a lot from the EMPNG Graduate Development Program. It has been a great opportunity to both open my mind and to step outside of my comfort zone.

“And the values that I have taken away from this experience so far have also had a positive influence on other aspects of my life.”


Studying for a degree in Communication for Development at Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Toxen was provided with a strong skillset in business functions that she actively put to the test working with EMPNG’s Human Resources department.

“I understood HR functions from my university studies, although the way ExxonMobil operates is very different as they are a global company. I have been exposed to talented people, unique work environments and to different work strategies which have all given me the drive to strive to do better in everything I do.

“I’ve been given the opportunity to lead and coordinate activities within the team and assist in making changes to the existing employee guidelines, which is very rewarding.


With a Bachelor in Computer Science from University of Hawaii at Hilo, Joshua spent his first rotation working with the IT department on the Analyst Mobility Project.

“I have taken away a number of key skills from my experience so far, including communication and leadership, teamwork and development of digital skills across a range of platforms. I have also learnt how the company works and its corporate structures and functions, and how each contributes to successful and productive company operations.”

“The Graduate Development Program has provided me with real life work experience and the experience and knowledge to provide the best solutions to business problems.”


Raylance graduated university with a Bachelor of Building Architecture from Papua New Guinea University of Technology and was given the opportunity to work outside her comfort zone with the Public and Government Affairs department 

“The experience has been a tremendous learning and development process for me so far. I now have a stronger understanding of how the different departments contribute to the business operation, which is an area that I will continue to learn about throughout my rotations.

“The open-door policy at ExxonMobil PNG is so far what has stood out most to me, as it is rare to have the opportunity to openly communicate with executive managers across businesses in PNG at my career stage. Overall the program has been fantastic as it has provided an opportunity to learn a little bit about many topics and help to build a better understanding of the bigger picture.” 


Having completed a Bachelor in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Papua New Guinea, Meslyne spent her first rotation with the Procurement department.  

“The Graduate Development Program has given me a sense of purpose to be part of a great team and to always give my best to contribute to achieve positive outcomes. 

“My experience has given me a new way to look at problems and a new way to collaborate to solve those problems, which is a mind opening experience that you can’t get from sitting in a lecture room.

“The EMPNG Graduate Development Program is a great opportunity to gain practical work experience, learn new skills to enhance professionalism within a career path and to be part of a great team that contributes to positive results.”


After graduating from the Australian Catholic University with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance, Joachim spent his first year at ExxonMobil PNG with the Controllers department. 

“I have developed a range of skills throughout my first year in the Graduate Development Program including data analysis, presentation skills and gained a stronger understanding of the functions I was responsible for in providing support.

“This opportunity has exposed me to a world class working environment and has been a rewarding experience in regard to the lessons I have learnt and the knowledge I have gained.”