How BP’s 12-month Military Placement Programme (MPP) helped a two-time National Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, power his way into the oil and gas industry
A focused, disciplined and resilient individual, DeRae Crane believes that everything you will ever want in life is on the other side of failure and fear. Serving as a platoon leader, executive officer and company commander - with his spare time spent on the Army’s world-class boxing team - how did DeRae find his way into BP?
“I’m always on the hunt for the good stuff, always looking for a challenge,” he tells us. “I’d had an interest in oil and gas for a few years and I felt that MPP would be a great introduction to the industry. It would allow me to fill industry-specific gaps in my skill set so, when the time came for a permanent role, I could excel.”
For DeRae, one of the best things about BP is the emphasis on learning and networking. It means he’s able to satisfy a passion for team-building and knowledge-sharing that grew when he was deployed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
I was second in command to a splendid officer and leader,” DeRae points out. “We trained up an awesome group of soldiers and brought everyone home safe and more prepared for everyday life. At BP, if I don’t know something – or my team doesn’t know – someone on the floor will know. With the open concept and ease of access to everyone, you can really get out and get things done.
The most challenging piece of transitioning centered around the actual business and how it moved and operated. “This is a business with a lot of intricacies. A colleague literally drew me a picture showing me everything – from economics to logistics to risk management. He really took the time to break it down for me effectively. In fact, everyone I’ve met has helped me and is willing to hear me out.”
Right now, he’s working as a distribution analyst in the Supply and trading division. “My background in logistics and process improvement has served me well, allowing me to help streamline and optimize many of the processes in place,” says DeRae. “Spending time on the mid-west propane strategy, I’ve had the opportunity to interface with many of our customers and affiliates and really get a feel for the business.”
Although DeRae found there to be more differences than similarities, the cultural transition to BP from the army has been seamless.
I found the freedom very liberating. BP speaks to my entrepreneurial spirit; it has a certain energy and intensity that I greatly value in my place of work.
As for his place within the industry, DeRae feels extremely positive. “There’s so much space and opportunity in energy production in general. It’s an exciting business. The world will always need ways to generate energy, and BP is a major player. I look forward to growing, learning and packing a punch, in new and exciting roles.”