Following a successful work experience placement at BP, Khalida Abdulrahim felt it was a no-brainer when BP offered a graduate role after completing her degree in International Business at University of Liverpool, and currently works as a Shipping Coordinator.
Why did you pick BP?
I completed a commercial internship at BP in the summer of 2014, my penultimate year of university, and I really enjoyed it. When I went for my interviews ahead of the internship, the people at BP really stood out to me compared to everybody else I had been meeting at different companies. They were genuinely very friendly and down to earth, and I felt comfortable in the environment. It was the sort of company that I wanted to work for. When I was offered a graduate job after my internship, it was a no-brainer because I wanted to work for a large company, especially one that is a leader in its industry, and I thought that BP's values were well aligned with my personal values.
What skills or experiences at university best prepared you for your career at BP?
I studied International Business because I wanted to learn how successful businesses were run: The whole process of getting an idea, putting it together, and ultimately coming up with a product or a service that you can provide to people. Particularly in the case of large multinational companies, like BP for example. I think it is quite fascinating how companies can start from one place and eventually have a global reach. Having that international element to the degree really helps me in my current role, where I have to deal with people from all over the world.
What has surprised you about your role or the firm, since joining BP?
One of BP’s values is respect and it is actually put into practice, it isn't just written on paper with no-one abiding by it. People really do respect each other. It is a very diverse company so there are so many opportunities to learn about other people and their cultures, as well as learning from their expertise.
How would you describe the culture and working environment?
The work environment at BP is very friendly, and it is also very diverse. You'll have colleagues from different parts of the world. I also think that it’s a very inclusive environment, people genuinely respect each other and get along well, regardless of where they are from. They encourage you to just be yourself, so it is a pleasant place to work.
Tell us about an average day at BP?
There is no average day! As I’m currently on the graduate scheme, which is three years long and is split into three one-year roles, I get to do three very different things. My first year was in analytics; very much numbers and projects based, with a focus on big data. Now I am working in operations, which is more short-term and fast-paced, and it’s also a front-office role, so I have a lot of client interaction. At the end of this year, I'll be moving on to my third year role, which again will be something completely different.
What is your current role like?
In my current role, I’m responsible for creating and managing the shipping programme for the exports of oil from a BP terminal in the North Sea region. I have to ensure that the shipping programme is operating well. There are also a lot of stakeholders involved, because we have several partners that own equity stakes in the oil and gas fields that supply the terminal. They want to have access to their oil, which comes in from the various fields and I have to make sure that they are able to lift their entitled oil volumes safely and efficiently.