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Finding my niche on bp’s challenger programme: Dian’s story

11 October 2022

Dian Wang now works as a market strategist, analysing and forecasting supply and demand for petrochemicals using data models, and helping traders develop trading strategies


“How can I build an interesting career in numbers?” was one of the many questions Dian Wang asked herself after finishing her Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Melbourne in 2019. “I’d completed a few internships in different fields but was on the hunt for an opportunity where I could really challenge myself and explore positions related to strategy” she recalls.


Having come across a job board advertisement for bp’s challenger programme, Dian says “the challenger programme and its three year rotational scheme seemed like the perfect opportunity to apply my finance background to different business functions and work out which areas I found interesting, while maintaining the international perspective that had become an important part of my life after studying in Australia.


Practical skills for a purpose 


In early 2020 Dian returned home to Shanghai to join bp’s challenger programme as an assistant key account manager in Castrol. During this time, she joined the Agile program – an initiative which enabled challengers to gain a wider understanding of bp by working part-time for other business units. As part this, Dian occasionally helped the Trading & Shipping (T&S) team: “It seemed like a great place to put my analytical skills to work in a tangible way.


Through her work with T&S, Dian was offered a unique opportunity to join the team for her second rotation. She now works as a market strategist, analysing and forecasting supply and demand for petrochemicals using data models, and helping traders develop trading strategies. “I’ve found that my less conventional route into T&S has meant I can bring a different perspective and skill-set to the team.


When thinking about how her day-to-day work connects to bp’s wider ambition to reimagine energy, Dian explains that while she focuses more on the traditional side of bp’s business, her work is key to generating the value needed to further the clean energy transition: 


It’s important that bp’s business has a diverse portfolio. Moving towards a future where renewables are efficient enough to generate profit on their own starts by ensuring we have enough capital to make investments into renewables today. My work ensures that traders can make informed decisions about how we get there.

Learning in a supportive environment


“Making the switch to T&S was a learning curve as I don’t have any background in petrochemicals,” says Dian, “but my colleagues were incredibly supportive in answering all my questions. That’s one of the things I love about working at bp – everyone wants to help you learn!”


Ultimately, it’s the culture that Dian thinks makes bp so special:


She says,

It’s a cliché, but bp is a really caring employer. Right from the start of the hiring process, I could see how inclusive the culture is. There are mentorship schemes and career resources, as well as a range of internal initiatives like sports clubs, business resource groups and mental health support. It’s clear that bp takes pride in safeguarding the well-being of its employees.

It’s an environment that makes Dian feel at home and excited about the future. “While I wasn’t certain at first what role would be the best fit for me, bp’s culture of development and opportunity has helped me find my place and shaped my career and confidence for the better.

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