With a background in fine dining and biology, a career in HR wasn’t necessarily the obvious path for Al. But he says that it was actually these experiences that first “opened my eyes to the importance of people skills and adapting to bring out the best in different team members”.
After completing a biology degree, Al took up a management position at a Michelin-starred restaurant and then worked for a pharmaceutical company. He then joined bp on the HR graduate scheme in 2019. He says that having had a varied career up to that point, he felt he needed a career that would give him that same breadth of opportunity while making use of his people skills.
As part of reinvent bp, Al has moved to the People & Culture consulting team, which brings together HR professionals to support projects and internal businesses through agile working. Al has also been deployed to bp’s Innovation and Engineering (I&E) entity, where he supports the leadership team by providing specialist advice and coaching.
He says that “supporting such a pivotal piece of work, in what was previously quite an unfamiliar business area, has really accelerated my exposure and learning within the organisation.
Al believes that it’s this sense of purpose coupled with the level of responsibility he has been given has allowed him to thrive. “I love that the work we do makes a difference. By empowering people’s careers and making sure they’re motivated and engaged, we’re playing an important part in making sure bp’s teams are performing at their best. It all ties back to the bigger purpose of the energy transition. It’s having happy, motivated teams where people can be their best selves that will help us reach those goals as quickly as possible.”
“I knew there was more to bp than oil and gas,” he says.
Looking back, what was it that first drew him to bp? Al tells us that on finding bp’s graduate scheme, “I was excited about all the different aspects there are in HR. Being able to rotate between different functions on the bp graduate scheme was a huge draw, I wanted to have that variety but also keep being challenged.”
He explains that his role so far has meant working with colleagues from across the business and that that’s given him the chance to build a greater understanding of HR across different cultures and geographies. “That’s the fun of working for a global organisation,” he says.
Al’s been impressed by the company’s culture of openness and collaboration, and believes that it’s this, and the people who make it up, that will be key drivers of future change at bp.
World class programmes for students, graduates, interns, cadets and early years insight courses for students still in school
Our purpose is reimagining energy for people and our planet. We want to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives