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Challenges and opportunities working for a large group

Find out more about Shi-Hao Lu’s career path at Air Liquide Engineering & Construction from process engineering to financial operations.

Shi-Hao Lu

“I grew up in eastern China in the city of Jiaxing and studied engineering with a major in Thermophysics Engineering. As an undergraduate, I specialised in Cryogenics & Refrigeration.

After graduating in 2004, I began working for Air Liquide Engineering & Construction in China as a process engineer focusing on air separation units.

Having chosen to study engineering, in particular cryogenics, I wanted to work for a big international engineering company in order to have broad view of business and cultures. But, as is often the case, my exact career path was a mixture of chance, compromise and choices. Before finishing my studies, I contacted various engineering firms and Air Liquide responded very positively.

I have changed roles several times within Air Liquide Engineering & Construction. In China, I went from having a very technical to a more managerial role involving different projects. Between 2013 and 2015, I worked in Frankfurt where I took the challenge to work in the finance department and, more precisely, operations control. This gave me insight into how the company operates as a whole.

The most exciting project I’ve worked on would have to be last year when, as part of finance operations control, I had to coordinate the planning process for all Air Liquide Engineering & Construction entities. This was a big challenge as it didn’t necessarily fit my professional background and I learnt a lot as it involved coordinating teams all over world with very different cultures and ways of working.

I enjoy the challenges and opportunities offered by working for a large group with different business lines. It is an exciting platform to develop your talent in diverse roles and projects.

My advice to anyone wanting to pursue a similar career would be to think about your future for the first two years, whatever you are doing.Then, you have to decide at least the overall direction you want to take. It is important to stick to this and communicate your vision to your managers.”