Employer Focus: BPNews
Posted on Monday 5th December 2016, by James Howell
Global energy company BP faces a range of environmental challenges and needs fresh graduates to help meet the difficult tasks of the future.
BP leads the way in the energy industry and runs operations in Asia, Africa, Australasia, North and South America and Europe. Like all organisations in the industry, BP faces numerous challenges to deliver growth in a lower carbon economy and believes graduates can provide the solutions for the future.
Suzy Style is BP's UK Head of Graduate Resourcing and she says BP is confident in the face of environmental demands.
"BP employees know the challenges ahead and they see brilliant opportunities and great projects they can work on to create a better future," she says.
"At BP, we believe we need to balance this increase in energy use, driven by progression and development, with environmental challenges. BP promotes the diverse use of energy resources, fuel and technologies for the transition to a lower carbon economy."
BP wants graduates to be the leading light in overcoming these challenges.
"Graduates joining us at BP are the future and there are exciting times ahead in terms of opportunities to help the world in meeting these challenges," Suzy says.
"Graduates want to be a part of innovation, technology and be a part of great projects from day one - BP provides them with that opportunity."
Suzy highlights a fantastic example of a previous graduate joiner who had developed a new way to change engine oil.
"We've had people who have joined as graduates work on some brilliant projects, like Nexcel. A previous graduate joiner, who is now the chief engineer on the project, and his team developed an easy-to-change oil cell which fits under the car bonnet and changes an engine's oil in 90 seconds rather than 20 minutes."
"It contains engine oil and a filter. The used cells are collected by the service provider and the oil can be refined to produce lubricant products," Suzy explains. "With the amount of engine oil products which are disposed of globally, this new method is far more sustainable."
"If you are a scientist, we have brilliant opportunities to offer – as we do for engineers. But as a large company, we recruit students from all different backgrounds across all disciplines," Suzy says.
"Around 50% of our graduate opportunities are in business and commercial type roles, so there is a lot more here than people realise. We are quite famous for our Engineering and Science roles, but less known for our areas in business, commercial, trading, finance and those sorts of roles."
The variety for graduates and interns at BP does not stop at oil and gas. Suzy says there is a wide range of brands and locations available for applicants.
"Graduates can find themselves working on really interesting brands like the Wild Bean Café, BP, Castrol or even working with M&S on the retail side or a car manufacturer on the fuel side of the business."
"We've got locations across the UK in Aberdeen, Hull, Milton Keynes, Pangbourne, Shetland Islands, Sunbury and people working with us can have really varied and global careers."
BP employs almost 80,000 people worldwide and takes on around 100 graduates a year in the UK. Suzy says each graduate who joins the company receives a real job and works on real projects, but they are also welcomed into a supportive and collaborative culture.
"One thing we find graduates need support with is the transition from university life to the world of work. We have developed the Universal Graduate Skills Programme which provides softer skills training like networking or presentation skills to ease the transition."
Inclusivity is also an important part of life at BP. Suzy explains there are several networks within BP to encourage this.
"A key part of our culture is how highly we value inclusion – it is just as important as diversity. We have things like the Business Resource Groups internally that help employees create networks, and those networks help to improve people sense of inclusion. For example we have the Women's International Network or the Positive Ethnic Network."
BP lives by five values that inform everything they do. They are: Safety, Respect, Excellence, Courage and One Team. Suzy says she wants applicants to exhibit these qualities.
"I am often asked ‘what makes a candidate stand out?' but a key thing for me is that we are looking for people who are well-rounded and who have been involved in things outside of academia," Suzy says. "It is also really important they share our values and I look for evidence that they buy into the One Team mentality and strive for excellence."
For graduates and students who want to apply to BP, Suzy recommends that they take their time on their application form, but that they be aware of the deadlines and apply as soon as possible.
"There is lots of information available on our website or in our brochures, and applicants should really get a sense of the roles we have on offer, the values we have and they should think about that when they are writing their application form."
Suzy recommends experience as a fantastic example for applicants to show their suitability.
"[Applicants] should think about getting as much practical experience in the world of work as they can, whether that is more formal work experience like internships or if the work experience they have is a Saturday job or working in a bar - no example is too silly really!"
BP promises graduates a rewarding and fulfilling career. Suzy recalls an event she attended recently with a few BP graduates and witnessed the effect the company had made on the new employees.
"I was at an event last week and someone asked our recent hires that question ‘Why should we work for you and not a competitor?' and the answer they gave was you get to be yourself." she says. "You spend a lot of time at work so it is really important you get to be yourself. They said they felt really valued at BP and they felt their opinion really mattered."
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