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From the U.S. Army National Guard to bp: Naty’s story

Published:
25 August 2020
Naty joined bp while serving in the U.S. Army National Guard. Her career took an exciting turn when the energy industry unlocked the potential of her accounting degree
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A proud Latina and military veteran, Naty embodies the U.S. Army National Guard’s core values: loyalty, duty, respect, service, honor, courage, and integrity. Joining bp was an easy decision after learning how the company’s values align to hers.

More than 18 years later, she has built a successful career and serves as the low carbon trading commercial commodity manager for bp’s trading & shipping business in downtown Chicago. Naty loves working with a talented team that will play a critical role in helping bp achieve its net zero ambition.

New paths for an accounting degree


After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Naty did not think her accounting degree would lead to a career in energy. At first, she was surprised a company like bp was recruiting her since she wasn’t an engineer or geologist. However, the company recognized how Naty’s soft skills and values from the military, combined with her degree, would help her succeed.

As she puts it, “I always thought I would work at one of the big accounting firms. However, bp recruited at my university and spoke about its trading & shipping development program. It sounded exciting and allowed you to create your own career path. bp showed me different opportunities and ways to use a traditional accounting degree.”

 

A member of the National Guard since college, Naty continued to serve after joining bp. Her transition looked different than other veterans who typically have an “end” to military service and “beginning” of their new role in corporate America. Naty’s overlapped, and her familiarity in the military supported her when she started her professional journey. In bp’s trading & shipping development program, Naty was exposed to different roles and experiences. From her point of view, 

 

 

I knew I was up for a challenge, and the military gave me the confidence that I could do anything!

 

 

Being a leader, not a manager


After completing the development program and her military service, Naty began to create her own career path. She held a variety of positions within bp’s supply chain and logistics team, beginning as a crude settlement and inventory analyst. She quickly progressed in the organization and held positions of increasing responsibility, technical capability and leadership.

She says, “bp’s coaching and mentoring resources were incredibly helpful along the way. They helped me build long lasting networks in the company.”


Naty’s success is the result of determination, perseverance, and a solid foundation that began with her family—and was reinforced by the military.

 

My parents taught me to be courageous and resilient in the face of adversity, but the military gave me confidence and leadership skills. Combined, these attributes have brought me to where I am now.

Today in her manager role within trading & shipping, Naty’s team knows she has their best interests at heart. She wants to be a leader, not a manager. Naty’s approach to leadership is helping her team progress in their careers and motivating them to meet business goals.

 

To me, a leader is someone who can inspire and develop people – letting them know I always have their backs.

In addition to supporting her teams, Naty is passionate about helping veterans across the organization. She serves as the Chicago chapter lead for bp’s veteran employee resource group and helps the business foster an inclusive work environment for her fellow veterans.

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