Landing a career in the energy sector wasn’t always part of Lanre’s plan, but he found himself drawn to bp after coming across graduate roles with the company’s Trading & shipping (T&S) business
Landing a career in the energy sector wasn’t always part of Lanre’s plan, but he found himself drawn to bp after coming across graduate roles with the company’s Trading & shipping (T&S) business.
Lanre joined the bp T&S graduate scheme in 2017 and rotated across three different roles over three years. His first year was spent as a crossbench analyst, focused on refinery analytics. Lanre helped forecast the operations of over one hundred refineries across Europe and Africa, advising on demand for crude oil and the volume of products being produced.
He recalls feeling like he had been thrown in at the deep-end: “When I first learned about my role, I assumed I’d be supporting my team by doing the most basic tasks – but in fact, the nature of Crossbench means that everyone is doing something different and has responsibility for something that matters.”
Lanre then joined the Treasury Trading team and took pride in speaking with banking analysts and forming views about the market to advise bp’s traders. “I got really into the nitty-gritty of the political procedures behind Brexit and was able to confidentially disbelieve the news,” Lanre explains. “The memos I produced were used by bp traders to help them navigate the news flow and make more informed decisions.”
After bp announced its net zero ambition in 2020, Lanre took on a new role as a business development analyst for bp’s offshore wind business.
His role is all about building bp’s knowledge base and sits at the heart of the energy transition. Exposed to many different sources of data each day, Lanre is a source of unbiased information for the business. From market analysis in regions that bp is looking to expand into - covering everything from weather conditions to the legislative environment – to due diligence on companies that bp might look to partner with.
“Whereas my work on bp’s graduate scheme was fast paced and hinged on regular data releases, what I do now is more forward looking, with results that will be revealed in the long-term,” says Lanre. “There’s also a lot of misinformation and misrepresentation about renewable energy and I enjoy being able to share the truth each day with people inside and outside of bp,” he explains.
Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities, Lanre finds the time to champion diversity, equity and inclusion.
He explains his motivations: “People who’ve faced discrimination or felt like an outsider tend to compartmentalise themselves in the various spaces they occupy in life. I want to ensure no one at bp is using unnecessary brain power worrying about being anyone other than themselves.”
As a member of bp’s Mental Wellbeing Network, Lanre hosted internal panel discussions on mental health and discrimination topics. He is also actively involved in bp’s PEN (Positively Ethnic Network), where he helped organise weekly PEN cafes, offering a space for people to talk and share what was on their mind during the pandemic, as well as planning PEN’s Black History Month initiatives.
Now approaching five and a half years with bp, Lanre feels a responsibility to be a role model for graduates entering the business, especially those who may not have originally considered a career in energy.
LaKisha Bertke is a commercial operations services manager based in Chicago, Illinois. We spoke to her about her 24-year career at bp, life on the trading floor, and how her experiences have inspired her to support students taking the first steps in their careers