In celebration of International Women’s Day, meet Madelene Chung, Marathon Petroleum Specialist Trader at our Singapore office. After graduating from the National University of Singapore in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Madelene never imagined her career path would lead to energy. But, when presented with the opportunity to help start up our first office in Singapore as a trader, she accepted the challenge and has never looked back.
How she got started in energy
Madelene started her career in energy in 1988 for Dow Jones Telerate, Inc. as an energy correspondent, reporting market news for seven years. In 1994, she joined Tesoro Corporation (later acquired by MPC), where she helped start up the office in Singapore. In this role, she worked in marketing intelligence, reporting price outlook and news for the Asian market and identified crude and product trade opportunities. Four years later, the company acquired a refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, and continued to grow, adding more staff and a Marine team in the Singapore office.
Her role today
Today at MPC, Madelene is a Specialist Trader on our international team trading light and middle petroleum products. She’s also the director of the Singapore office, serving in a fiduciary role on behalf of the company.
Madelene works with traders in the Asian market, including Korea and Japan, to supply our Kenai, Alaska refinery with jet fuel. She also looks for opportunities to optimize other cargo trades like diesel and gasoline across our system. “I think MPC has built a good reputation with our customers. We work hard to build strong relationships by honoring our word and meeting our customers’ requests on time.”
What she enjoys about her role
The most enjoyable part of Madelene’s role is rising to the challenge during times of uncertainty. “During unpredictable times, it’s important to stay the course and adapt to the market when trying to buy and source products,” she said. “I also think the unforeseen weather plays a big factor in how quickly we can transport our product to our customers. Although these situations do create pressure, I enjoy problem-solving and navigating adversity. When things come together, and our customers are happy, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment.”
Advice for women who want to pursue a career in energy trading
“I enjoy my role as an energy trader, and the opportunity to contribute to our company’s goals. My advice to women is do give it a shot. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to pursue and build relationships; it is not about the next “killer” deal I am going to make. Have the courage to stand up and stay true to your personal integrity and values; be genuine, not transactional, with people. Life is much more than profit targets. So, go for it.”
To explore career opportunities, visit our website at MarathonPetroleum.com.