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Thinking differently to the rest of the room: Adriana’s story

Published:
30 June 2021

A chemical engineer by background, Adriana has held a long list of diverse roles at bp. Now VP of performance management she gives us some insight into how having a unique perspective is helping transform bp

A chemical engineer by background, Adriana started her career in technical roles at Schlumberger and Shell before completing an MBA at London Business School in 2010. After that, Adriana worked as a strategy consultant, working on a project for bp. Having impressed her client, Adriana was asked by the head of ethics & compliance at bp if she wanted to be her business advisor. “Despite knowing nothing about ethics & compliance she told me that I had skills that she'd love to have in her team”, Adriana says. This would be the first of a long list of diverse roles Adriana has held at bp. “Last year, I was asked to join finance” she reflects, “and given my track record of accepting roles in areas I know little about – here I am! I am the VP for performance management.” 

 

Adriana and her team support business delivery teams, carrying out budgeting and forecasting as well as providing insights and analytics to help bp’s businesses understand the financial impact of their decisions. In essence, her job is to develop insights to augment decision making and continuously improve bp’s performance. 

 

World-class mentors

 

Adriana believes that her career success has benefited from the support of the mentors she’s had at bp. 

 

It's always been about the people who have empowered me to be who I am, share a different perspective and continue to challenge me.
At bp, my first boss was amazing and would always remind me that it’s not about what you know, it’s who you are and what you bring.

In her current role, Adriana feels that pearls of wisdom from Leigh-Ann Russell, the SVP of procurement at bp has helped her grow immeasurably - “she's really helped me lead in a different way and was one of the first individuals to help me feel at ease with who I am and my individuality, so I’d say she’s been a huge influence on my career”. Perhaps that’s why Adriana reflects that if she could give her 15-year-old self a piece of advice it would be “not to worry if people think you're weird - one day people will value that.”

 

Driven by working collaboratively to make a difference

 

What excites and drives Adriana is making a difference and working in a fast-paced environment.

 

bp has been incredibly flexible in my career progression and accordingly I've been blessed to have a diverse number of roles. I've been given opportunities to do a lot of work around transforming bp, trying new things and also developing people. That's kept me really motivated all the time.

 And, to that end, Adriana believes that without a rich diversity of thought a business is nothing. “I am passionate about the energy people bring and the idea of being in a room where everyone thinks differently to you. It means that you often get to see things from a unique perspective that you would have never thought of”, she says. To Adriana, that’s representative of the bp environment as a whole:

 

There's a lot to be learned if you really embrace what's out there on offer from the people and culture at bp. Our leaders tend to be very generous with their time. Every time I've asked for advice the answer has been ‘yes, let's talk!’ That's something that's great about bp. Everyone truly cares about people's careers and development.

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