“I had a schoolteacher who taught me that you learn most when you’re having fun. That was my mantra when I started my career and it’s a principle I stick to today,” says Andrew Johnson, who spent over 25 years at Castrol.
“It’s not typical to see someone jump from chemical engineering to industrial marketing, but that’s exactly what I did 25 years ago,” says Andrew. “It was really interesting because you're learning about sectors from transportation to mining, to automotive, retail and manufacturing,” he recalls. Conceding that his career journey was somewhat unconventional, he added with a grin that he “also took the occasional opportunity to be a bit of a clown”.
Andrew went on to work in consumer marketing and sales before becoming the marketing director for Australia and New Zealand, and then commercial markets across Asia-Pacific. “Taking on new markets and regions was initially challenging, but kept me energised every day,” he says fondly.
Andrew mentions the opportunity to get immersed in new cultures as one key highlight from his time at bp. “Moving into other cultures, you learn new things about yourself and others; you learn how other cultures interact; it’s always fascinating to see how it translates into the workplace.”
Through Castrol, Andrew attended various sporting events, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final in Mumbai. “We attended with celebrities and our customers. The cricketer Adam Gilchrist was an ambassador for one of Castrol’s product brands, Castrol Magnetac. As an Australian cricket fan, experiences don’t get better than that!”
Andrew is keen to highlight Castrol’s workplace culture, recalling how he was “backed to the hilt” when he was given time off for a family matter. “When you need to be cared for, you are cared for – something I saw time and time again with my colleagues across Asia-Pacific.”
Even after leaving Castrol, Andrew still feels part of the family, having undertaken contract work at bp, working on his most interesting project to date. “I worked with a cross-border Australia/US team on a novel technology that digitally optimised heavy vehicle fuel usage. It was a fascinating project that taught me a lot about a new part of the business.”
“I now work as a private consultant,” explains Andrew. “My experience at Castrol taught me how to get things done with different people, in different cultures, using different skills. I finished my career as a manager, but I still remember how to complete all tasks learnt during my junior days. I still keep in contact with, and in some cases work with, ex-colleagues I met over 15 years ago. It’s nice to check up on them from now – we have a closeness that I don’t think will fade.”
Every bp employee — past and present — has inspired our purpose to reimagine energy for people and our planet
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