After growing up in France with a passion for history, maths and science, Anne attended an international business school where an encounter with BP led her to joining its ‘eurograduate’ scheme in 1996. Initially working in a retail role in Hamburg, Anne’s second placement took her to an operator role on the crude oil desk on BP’s trading floor. Here she discusses her experiences and shares her advice.
"My first impression of the trading floor was that it was like a beehive that I had to figure out and orientate myself with – it was very lively, very diverse and filled with lots of big characters.
Initially I wasn't sure about the hive and so, when considering ‘what next’ for my career in BP I thought perhaps I would like to work on mergers and acquisitions or perhaps head back to university to study political science. My boss suggested I consider becoming a trader and so I attended an internal ‘assessed trader course’ and was subsequently offered a job as an asset trader, handling the crude supply to refineries. Within a year I was offered a job as a frontline trader.
I am really passionate about my work as it enables me to participate in the world’s geopolitical landscape. My day to day finds me developing and using relationships with people in Russia, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Libya and Egypt. So much of what happens around us is underpinned by the need for energy and trading of oil and gas.
It is true there are still not many women in roles like mine but there is every reason for there to be more. Women bring a different perspective to the trading floor which enables alternative approaches and strengthens the collective capability of the team.
To young women considering their career options I would say that if you have a strong sense of identity and self worth, good commercial and analytical skills, can be resilient and handle the knock backs which everyone in trading goes through then trading could be a fantastic opportunity. You don’t need to be ‘one of the boys’, nor should you try to be – be true to yourself and the attributes that you bring to the team.
Working at BP has also meant I've been able to maintain a balance with my personal life – I am married with two children. BP is respectful of its employees’ lives outside work."
Feelig inspired? BP have a range of opportunities in trading, energy and beyond. Check out their profile and browse their open roles here.