In 2019, Methanex Egypt launched a new graduate training program, designed to enrich the pipeline of talent available to Egypt’s oil & gas and petrochemicals sector – through a three-year intensive training program with the country’s only methanol production company, through its state-of-the-art facility that is considered among the most energy efficient methanol plants in the world. The program is considered an exciting opportunity for candidates who are interested in building a career in the petrochemicals industry. It provides talents with an opportunity to work in a multicultural and high-performing environment enabling the leadership development and growth potential of fresh graduates and allowing them to develop technical, commercial, and interpersonal skills through on-the-job training, individual learning, and hands-on experience in multiple roles throughout the organization.

Out of the 3000+ graduates applying to the program from all governorates in 2019, 40 young men and women from various Egyptian universities – including Damietta University  – were selected to enroll in the program after undergoing an extensive recruitment and selection process to ensure the placement of the best fit candidates to the program. In all of its recruitment and hiring processes, Methanex Egypt stays committed to its position as an equal opportunity employer.

The program starts with a comprehensive onboarding package including a common track period where all graduates are offered the necessary classroom trainings, site visits along with e-learning about safety, industry, processes, and plant fundamentals, followed by a function track period where all graduates are divided into groups according to their assigned departments.

Shimaa Ahmed, a technical graduate, described the program, saying: “I consider the Methanex graduate program the perfect start for my career. Joining the program has given me the exposure I need in the petrochemicals industry and has impacted my skills and competencies positively. The program is very well designed to cater to our learning and development needs starting with the comprehensive onboarding process which enabled us to become familiar with everything happening inside the company as well as the actual work experience that gave us the chance to apply our learning in a supportive environment”

Methanex’s graduate program provides a learning and development opportunity through applying the 70/20/10 model: 70% on the job, 20% through coaching and mentoring and 10% classroom and e-learning. Ali Mahmoud, a maintenance graduate described his experience in the program saying: “The graduate program was a life changing experience for me. It is designed in a way that strongly familiarizes us with the company’s culture and core values to help us blend in. It also deepens our theoretical knowledge through structured learning, helping us develop a sound base of technical expertise through on-the-job experience, all while being supported by our supervisors through continuous guidance and constructive feedback.”

After joining, graduates become part of a strong mentoring culture, where each is assigned a Mentor/ Supervisor to support his/her personal and professional development. Through constant support from the Methanex management team including the Managing Director, Plant Manager and Site Management Team, the program ensures that graduates are continuously learning while always being informed about corporate updates, business changes, expectations, and progress helping them develop a deeper understanding of the methanol industry and make meaningful contributions to the business.

When we asked Salma Ashraf, a finance graduate, about her the program, she said: “It is an eye-opening experience to different career paths; during the past year and a half, I got to explore myself, my potential, and my capabilities. The on-the-ground practice, mentoring, assigned responsibilities, networking opportunities and the chance to rotate in different departments or areas have provided me with a strong base to build my career and succeed in the different roles I may take in the future. Having a supportive team who is willing to invest in me was also a key pillar in my development in such a short period.”

Joveh Wassily, a Responsible Care (HSE) graduate adds: “The graduate program is a great opportunity to get exposed to both global and local professionals and projects. Working alongside talented professionals has helped me understand concepts and processes faster, understand the importance of agility at work and has increased my productivity. We are involved in key business projects and are included in frequent site visits, a fact that has enriched our practical experience and helped us gain deep insights into the business.”

It is worth mentioning that Methanex’s commitment to learning and development was not compromised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a key pillar of the company’s corporate strategy, a comprehensive schedule of professional online training from internal and external industry experts were made available. In addition, all departments and projects’ workplans were designed in a manner that ensured the inclusion and contribution of graduates to maintain the required level of exposure, whether onsite or from home, during the pandemic. The Methanex Graduate Program is designed to ensure that after the completion of the three-year program, graduates will have the necessary knowledge and skills to help them build a successful career in the petrochemicals, and  oil & gas industries, positively contributing to the new pool of talents within the sector.

Although the 2020 intake was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was later resumed in November 2020 via different online platforms such as LinkedIn and other specialized recruitment platforms to enable the recruitment and training of the next generation of young professionals.