BP Graduate Profile: Strategy Analyst
When people think about careers in the energy industry, engineering usually comes to mind first and foremost, but energy companies need accountants, lawyers, HR professionals and IT experts – to name a few – and graduates from all types of academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
We interviewed three recent graduates, who are working in a variety of roles at BP, to find out how they got into the industry and why they think it’s a great place for other grads to work.
Strategy Analyst: Khalida Abdulrahim
Having previously studied in America, Khalida moved to the UK and secured an internship at BP in her second year at uni. She later joined their graduate scheme in the Supply and Trading division and is now in her third rotation, working as a Strategy Analyst.
What did you study at uni?
I started off studying engineering in America. However, I quickly realised that pure engineering wasn’t the path for me, as I couldn’t imagine myself doing it for the rest of my life.
So, I left the US and moved to England. I wanted to try something completely different, which led me to apply to study International Business at the University of Liverpool. Business came much more naturally to me!
Why did you choose to join BP?
I started applying for internships in my second year at Liverpool. I knew from what I enjoyed on my course that I wanted to do something commercial and learn how successful businesses are run, but I didn’t have a fixed target company. I went to lots of interviews at a variety of different companies, banks, accountancy firms, FMCG companies.
Then I came across BP. I had obviously heard of them before and I thought it would be great working for an industry leader. So, I applied and when it came to the interviews and I met the people at BP, they really stood out to me compared to everybody else I had met at other companies. They were genuinely very friendly and down to earth, and I felt comfortable in the environment. So, when I got offered the job, it was a no-brainer.
What did you do on your internship?
My internship was within BP’s Supply and Trading division, where I still work today. I worked in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) part of the business, with the team responsible for identifying new business opportunities. I assisted them in researching new markets, evaluating gaps and opportunities, and doing lots of research to enable the team to prioritise entry into new markets.
It was great to be given a lot of responsibility, while I was still a university student. As well as getting to present my findings directly to management, I was also given the opportunity to organise an industry event, where I got to meet a lot of my counterparts across the world. I was so excited to be offered a graduate role on completing the internship.
How does the grad scheme work?
The supply and trading graduate schemes are three years long and split into three one-year roles, so you get to try a variety of different things. In my first year, I worked in trading analytics, as a market intelligence analyst. I was responsible for improving BP’s analytical capabilities, especially around ship tracking. The role was quite project and analytics-based; it involved working with software developers and data scientists, identifying trends in vast amounts of data to support the development of new technologies that run on clever algorithms.
In my second year, I moved into a very different role in operations, as a shipping coordinator. I was responsible for creating and managing the shipping programme for the export of oil from a BP terminal in the North Sea region. In contrast to my first-year role, the environment was more fast-paced and external client facing. I am now in my third and final rotation as a strategy analyst.
What are you currently working on?
I am working in our strategy team, which acts as an internal consulting service for the supply and trading businesses globally. We conduct new market entry strategies, expansion plans in existing markets, and business optimisation activities. The breadth of my work this year has been incredible – I am getting involved in projects in gas, power, oil, renewables, across various geographies, many of which are new markets for us. I also get to research new technologies, such as blockchain, and share my knowledge on the topic across the business.
Why should other graduates join BP?
It is a really friendly and diverse work environment. You’ll have colleagues with different backgrounds from various parts of the world, and as it is a multinational company with a global presence, there may be an opportunity to work in a different country, or at least work closely with international colleagues.
BP has lots of experts in the industry, so you’re surrounded by people with a lot of experience and expertise, who are very generous with their time. There has never been a time when I needed help and there was no one willing to share their knowledge and experience. We get some great employee benefits, and a lot of support and training, which help your personal and professional development.
Thank you Khalida!
For more information:
BP Graduate Profile: HR Advisor
Find out about James Rimen’s role supporting the operations team in Petrochemicals
BP Graduate Profile: Software Engineer
Hadi Wibawa explains his role in software development and programming
To find out more about graduate opportunities at BP click here.
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