What is it really like... to do work experience at BP?

What is it really like... to do work experience at BP?

You’ve bought crisps at their petrol stations – but do you have any idea what British oil and gas company BP actually does? plotr asks Rebecca Munro, 17, about her placement there…


You’ve bought crisps at their petrol stations – but do you have any idea what British oil and gas company BP actually does? In August Rebecca Munro, 17, from Godalming in Surrey (right) undertook a week of work experience at BP’s International Centre for Business and Technology (ICBT) in Sunbury (also in Surrey). plotr asked Rebecca how it went…

Tell us about your placement at BP

“It was fantastic! Over the five days, I got a really good idea of what BP as a company is like to work for. During the week, I had one main task: to create a skills ‘audit’ of the primary school resources available from the BP Educational service website. In other words, I had to go through the resource materials for teachers on the BPES site and identify the skills primary school students might acquire from them. For example, what might they gain from an animation or a worksheet on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects?”

Did someone look after you?

“Yes – Samantha Bulkeley, who is the UK Schools Education Coordinator in BP’s UK Social and Community Affairs Department. She was great. On top of my schools resources audit task, Sam arranged meetings with other work experience overseers so I could see the range of jobs available at BP and get an insight into what they involve, as well as learning more about Sam’s own job.”  

How did you hear about the placement?

“My dad works for BP at the Sunbury site so I knew they ran work experience placements. However, I got all the info via my school careers advisor, who showed me how to apply and what a great opportunity it would be. BP offers one-week work experience placements to young people through schools near their larger sites.”

Best bits?

“Although the audit was a big task and involved trawling through the resources, it was very rewarding as it was a necessary job. It wasn’t something that I was given purely for the sake of it. Later in the week I presented it to EdComs in London (the people who designed the website). It’s great to think they’ll use my work to improve the BP website for the future.”

Any surprises?

“How approachable and helpful everyone was. Even though BP is a big company – and the Sunbury site is a little bit daunting on your first day! – there is a really strong senses of community. BP’s company values are there in every aspect of everyday working life at the company, which creates a supportive and welcoming environment. That’s the opposite of what I expected. I did work experience at a small start-up company last year, so I was interested to see how a large company like BP compared with that.”

Recommend to a friend?

“Definitely. I am very unsure as to what career I want at the moment but my work experience at BP has certainly opened my eyes to the variety of jobs and careers available in a corporate environment.

Top tips?

“If you’re considering doing work experience at a big company, I recommend researching the organisation you are going to work for and the part of the company you’ll be placed in. Having an idea of what to expect helps you feel more prepared so you can really get the most out of the opportunity.”

Next: Find out more about what BP careers can offer you on their Plotr employer profile.

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