Where leaders begin: Donna’s story

­All our graduates are potential leaders. That’s what Donna intends to become. Here’s how she’s achieving it

“I’ve met a lot of successful leaders at BP. Many of them shared with me that they started on the Challenge programme. The aim of the programme is to build successful professionals and leaders, as those are the future of BP.”

Donna is a Process Engineer Challenger at our Cairo office. It’s where she’s building on her degree in Petroleum and Mechanical engineering. Even with her specialist knowledge, BP managed to surprise her.

“Before I joined the organization, I believed that process engineering would be a natural fit for Downstream. I came to realize that this wasn’t the case, and Process Engineering is a core discipline in the Upstream as well.”

“I find process facilities really interesting because there’s so much equipment with different uses. I focus on how the process is going and all the different stages hydrocarbons go through before metering.”

The Challenge programme has certainly stretched Donna. She’s based in a joint venture so has had to move out of her comfort zone in terms of working with different people. “At the beginning I found it tricky, but I had a lot of support from more experienced secondees and that helped me overcome my unease.”

Team work has played its part too. “It’s what makes a successful project. People have different strengths and personalities, and working as a team draws all of that together. Team work feels part of my nature now, and I see that in everyone around me as well.”

“I am passionate about my job. I enjoy learning, developing, networking, all of it. I attended a Challenge induction course in Baku, and it was amazing meeting Challengers from different areas in the world and sharing experiences.”

In terms of development, Donna believes that she’s always learning. Her favourite project gave her a real opportunity to add to her knowledge. “LoSal is the injection of low salinity water in the well to increase production. It’s the first of its kind in the Middle East, which makes it very exciting. Through the LoSal project, I’ve been able to finish some of my technical and non-technical competencies on my Challenger roadmap.”

We asked Donna how she would sum up being a graduate at BP. “I’d say it’s exciting, rewarding and balanced. As a Challenger, learning and developing myself makes me excited for my future as an engineer. That in itself is rewarding.”

“But it’s not all about work. I believe in work/life balance and BP gives me the perfect opportunity to do that.”

If you’re a graduate who wants the opportunity to become a leader, there could be a place for you with BP. Find out about the roles on offer and how to apply at www.bp.com/grads/eg.


Graduates will always have their individual reasons for joining us at BP. Donna is no different. “It’s the chance to push yourself beyond your limit. You’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of and how much you can achieve. Someone shared that with me just after I joined, and so far it’s turned out to be true and rewarding.”