Irina came from the Russian Far East around six years ago, Fabio moved from Milan to Prague in January. Both of them found their dream job in the Accounts Payable Department in ExxonMobil that soon became their second family. Thanks to the company approach to its employees they feel happy and highly valued at work. If you think that Accounts Payable is just processing invoices and performing administrative work, you are wrong.

How did you get to ExxonMobil?

Irina: Eleven years ago, right after my university graduation, I joined the company in the Upstream Affiliate in the Russian Far East, Sakhalin Island; and a few years later I moved to the Czech Republic.

Fabio: My wife and I visited a friend in Prague last November and we loved the city. The same friend told me ExxonMobil has a huge business center here. As I had some experience in the industry and it is of great interest to me, I have decided to apply for a position in Account Payables.

What is your position and what are your responsibilities?

I: I am working as a Supervisor for Vendor Master Maintenance Activity in the Prague Payables Center. My team of 16 people is responsible for supplier verification, i.e. for making sure that a payment goes to a supplier with verified details.

F: My position is France & Italy Operations Supervisor and I lead a team consisting of 23 great professionals. We make sure that invoices from France and Italy are paid on time. Our job is crucial to the organization as it allows ExxonMobil to maintain good relationships with suppliers and to be perceived as a trustworthy partner.

What does your typical workday look like?

F: I estimate: 25% people management, 50% meetings and 25% strategic planning. Meetings are the foundation of our work since it’s a great challenge to keep information flowing. Every day I stop and think about whether we have improved something in our way of working. If the answer is yes, I am satisfied. Otherwise, I think of what we have to change tomorrow.

I: I agree with Fabio, it really depends on day to day. Definitely to work with people is a top priority, and of course, a significant amount of time is spent at meetings/calls and also planning for tomorrow.

What makes you happy at work?

F: I love being able to make a change. Also, I really enjoy leading: helping my colleagues to grow as professionals as well as individuals.

I: There are at least two components that come to my mind; one is that I really like to work with people, you can learn a lot as well as share the experience, advice. And another one is more concerning the job itself; I like to see the progress of my work, and the improvements of the processes.

Do you have any extraordinary benefits?

I: We have a Fit Stop, which means that an external trainer is coming once a day to do a 5-10 min voluntary stretching exercise with us. We have language courses, occasional home office, flexible working hours.

F: ExxonMobil offers great benefits related to wellness and health: monthly allowance to pay for sports cards, travels, amazing ergonomic chairs. We can also get a free massage as there are two masseurs in the building.

What are the requirements for those who want to join the company?

I: I would say relevant education, professionalism, positive attitude and readiness to learn are the main prerequisites to join the ExxonMobil family.

F: I think that generally speaking soft skills are more important than technical ones. For me, attitude is everything. The company is looking for responsible individuals, eager to challenge themselves, willing to become a better professional and a person.

How fast is the career growth in ExxonMobil?

F: Let me share a story with you. I joined the company in January as an invoice processor, an entry-level position. In February, my supervisor asked me to become a troubleshooter. In April, she promoted me to a team lead position. Later, when she went on maternity leave, she asked me to continue her work as the supervisor. Of course, this does not happen all the time. But if you look for responsibility and you prove that you are ready for it, you will receive it.

I: What happened to Fabio is extraordinary. However, it just proofs the fact that there is always an opportunity and “your career is in your hands”. In my career path, I worked in several positions within Payables and on 3 different continents.

Do you cooperate and make friends with people who work at the opposite side of the world?

I: A few days ago, I came to the office after a vacation and I found a dried mango at my desk. It was a gift from my colleagues in Thailand. Isn’t that nice? Some of us cooperate with people from different locations, and of course, it’s an opportunity to make friends around the world.

F: We have colleagues all over the world. With some of them we Skype or write emails on a daily basis. It is funny when you later meet some of them face to face because it seems that you know each other well, even though you have never met! Many of us started working here because of the multiculturalism, which really is an enrichment for all of us.

What do you like the most about ExxonMobil in general?

I: In my view, regardless of the economic cycles, the company maintains a full commitment on investing in people’s career development; and of course, if you work hard and look for opportunities to improve, the company always recognizes it.

F: I have worked in a few organizations now, but I have never seen a company as committed as ExxonMobil to support its people, to ensure their health and safety, to help them balance work and family life.

Is there anything you would like to change in ExxonMobil?

F: Just like in most corporations, company procedures have to be fully standardized. Sometimes, a higher level of flexibility would be welcome, but I think that the organization is already evolving in that regard.

I: If there were something I didn't like, I wouldn’t be here.

What do you prefer to do in your free time?

I: Spend time with my family, travel around, do some sports, and go golfing.

F: I love literature and I enjoy writing my own short stories. A few have even been published. Also, I think I am a fairly good guitar player. I have been playing it for more than 20 years now.

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Photo by Adeline K.