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Flexibility as a gasoline trader: Elise’s story

3 December 2019
Although engineering is Elise’s ‘bread and butter’, an early career in finance made her realise that she could combine her engineering background with finance and find a job that suited her at BP
Elise in the trading office

While studying at National University of Singapore with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Elise completed an internship with Goldman Sachs. This was a defining moment; “I realised there is a world outside of engineering and I could see why every graduate wanted a job there”, she says. Now, Elise works as a Gasoline Trader in BP Supply and Trading, a role that combines her love for engineering and her interest in finance. 


After starting work at ExxonMobil in Singapore, Elise joined BP as an oil analyst eight years ago. Now, having completed the ATC (assessed trading course), she works as a trader in a role that suits her personality well. “I’m passionate about understanding the current state of the world, forecasting how the market is likely to change, and solving these puzzles”, she says. The good thing is, this is exactly what her job entails. “Being a trader is challenging”, Elise admits, “but I feel proud to be able to develop and grow continuously”. 


Getting a big-picture view


While Elise was progressing as an oil analyst she realised that she was lacking a big-picture view of the world, something that is crucial to a role that requires both technical knowledge and an understanding of macroeconomics. She started looking at courses and realised she could do a master’s degree in economics that would cover all grounds.

My line manager back then was really supportive...
He encouraged BP to sponsor me as part of the ‘BP Further Education Support Programme’ even though I had not yet been at the company for more than two years.

For Elise, this is a great example of the flexibility that BP is happy to provide, which is something that she really values. “I was very happy about being given the opportunity to develop my skillset”, she says. “BP was happy to support my career development”. 


The same goes for Elise’s decision to shift into a trading role. “One of my managers asked me if I wanted to take the trader exam at BP and suggested that it would be a good skillset to add to my resume”. This decision furthered Elise’s analytical skills and pushed her out of her comfort zone. 


Bringing creativity to the trading floor


At BP, Elise has also been able to explore her creative side. As an analyst and in her current trading role, Elise has found she has space for innovation and self-exploration. “For the work that we do there is no set rulebook or any step-by-step processes that you must follow. BP allows you to use your creativity to work out how you can do the job better”, Elise says. For Elise, this is something that ensure BP stands out: “In comparison with some of the other oil majors, BP has a dynamic nature when it comes to trading and this is acknowledged by the whole of the BP group”. 

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