From a trading game to a reservoir engineer

If you want to see how BP’s work in schools can inspire young people into technical careers, look no further than reservoir engineer Jonny Hall, whose first encounter with BP was playing a trading game aged 12

10 years ago, Jonny was a keen student from Kingston, with a particular interest in maths. His first experience with BP was a schools activity day for Year Seven students. The session, called ‘The Trading Game’, set out to teach students how to trade. It lasted 10 rounds and each trade had to take into account different scenarios such as falling oil prices, or political unrest. The aim of course was to make as much profit as possible. The day was a great success and it got him thinking about how he could apply maths in his future career.

The following year Jonny joined a small group of student engineers and two female engineering mentors from BP on a Go4SET project. BP has been working with Go4SET for many years – the joint project provides students with the opportunity to investigate real industrial issues and develop innovative solutions.  The task, lasting 10 weeks, was to complete a project on renewable water sources. Once completed, Jonny and his team presented their findings at a celebration and assessment day, hosted – as they are each year - at BP’s International Centre for Business and technology (ICBT) in Sunbury. 

He clearly remembers the impact his mentors had on him, not only did they advise his team but they made him more aware of the oil and gas industry and its job opportunities as well. 
“My experiences with BP at school taught me that I could use my maths in a different way to the obvious paths of banking and finance. This inspired me because I felt it was more useful than simply moving money around.”
In year 10 Jonny was still enthusiastic about his opportunities with BP and started a work experience placement with BP’s Angola business unit in Sunbury. Here he put together a simulated Area Development Plan (ADP) for a reservoir - a real life problem to solve. He went to presentations and meetings with engineers and upstream professionals who were able to support him in the development of his ADP. Having access to such a varied group of professionals opened his eyes to the breadth of careers available in BP and, more importantly, made Jonny realise they were within his reach if he studied hard. 

During his A-levels Jonny took part in an Engineering Education Scheme (EES) , another project based activity run by the Engineering Development Trust – this time his mentor was from Air products but he once again returned to BP for the assessment day.

Jonny went on to study maths at Imperial College, London and got a BP Scholarship with the graduate team, which was followed by an internship and thereafter a place on BP’s graduate programme as a Reservoir Engineer - which is where you’ll find Jonny today. He says that talking to his mentors and work experience managers gave him broad context about BP and the confidence to perform well in interviews.

BP has been a huge part of his life and when asked what really stuck and made him pursue these many opportunities he says, “engineering is cool, you get to work with really big kit and really large reservoirs!”
“Working with young people is exciting, challenging and inspiring for all those involved. You can make a real difference to the life and future of a young person which contributes not only to them as people but to our communities and to BP.”
Samantha Bulkeley, UK Schools Education Manager

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