Graduate commodity trader Mo loves the global nature of his role and being part of a diverse team. Now based in the UK, Mo grew up in Morocco and France and also studied in Sweden, so it’s no wonder he feels at home in an international environment like bp.
Finance graduate Mo joined bp on the Trading & shipping graduate programme in 2019, after completing our summer internship in European Gas and Power trading the previous year. He hadn’t considered commodity trading as a potential career choice previously, but after his internship, he was hooked: “When I did the internship at bp I was just so surprised. I never expected to end up in commodity trading but after trying it, I just really loved it,” he says.
When I saw what commodity trading is about, and what the culture at bp is like, I thought: this is what I want to do.
A role with global impact
Mo is currently a West African trading operator, which means he is responsible for moving products including gasoil, gasoline and jet fuel into Ghana. These products are used primarily for mobility, industry and household heating. His day-to-day involves liaising between suppliers and recipients and ensuring the safe and timely delivery of the products.
It’s a role that has pushed Mo out of his comfort zone, which – as someone who loves to learn – is nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time: “I’m not the most outspoken person,” he explains. “I’m much more comfortable making a decision based on data. But now my job is to talk to people and resolve problems. It’s very scary, but that’s why I chose it, because I wanted to grow my skills.”
His favourite aspect of the role is the tangible real-world impact it has: “The products that we deliver have a big impact on people’s lives. For example, if a shipment gets delayed due to weather issues, it could result in shutdowns. So, I can see how important the work that we do is.” He thrives on the responsibility of trying to find innovative solutions to problems like these, and building strong relationships with suppliers and customers.
Challenging stereotypes in trading
Mo is passionate about trading, and believes that more people might feel the same if we could break down stereotypes about what it means to be a trader: “There can be this very specific image of what a trader is like: it’s always a man, someone who has a very strong personality, and is very outspoken. That’s not necessarily my personality,” Mo explains. “I want to prove to myself and to others that traders don’t have to have to fit that stereotype.”
From his experience, there are many different ways to become a successful trader if you have the right motivation, and a supportive and inclusive team behind you. For Mo, the culture at bp strikes the right balance:
bp brings in grads and nurtures them, gives them training and also at the same time lets them try many things so we can decide where we want to go.
Whether you are an intern or a grad, you get a lot of real responsibility.
This is what makes Mo feel confident that, as a graduate, he’ll play a part in influencing bp’s future:
There is so much space to be part of influencing bp’s energy transition, even as a grad. We have an open channel to suggest what kind of things they should consider looking into. The grads are the future.