Lauren joined as a technical service engineer on the BP Graduate Development Program, having graduated from Michigan State University in 2005 with a BSc in Chemical Engineering.“Initially, I wanted to go into pharmaceutical drug development, which is a very specialised field. Along the way I realised that wasn't where my interests were. I came to BP because the opportunities seemed endless” she explains.
A decade is a long time but having had four different roles has ensured that it doesn’t feel that way. Lauren spent her first two years in a central process engineering role, where she learnt the foundations before moving into a more specialised process engineering role supporting distillation, sulphur recovery and alkylation.
“I was then done with the more technical roles, so I looked for commercial interface roles within the refinery and I landed a position in the production planning team. There, I optimised product configuration for the plant. The simplest way to understand it is that it’s like making lemonade with water, sugar and lemons and considering how you could mix it for it to be the most cost effective to sell. An opportunity came up for a similar but different job in BP’s supply and trading group, so that's what I'm doing now.”
Lauren’s career path allowed her to draw on her experience from different roles: “With experience across areas, I’ve been able to bridge communications between refining and trading, and help move projects along successfully.”
Reflecting on her time at BP, she says that it has inspired her to take on a new motto: “Never say no to anything because you never know where an opportunity might lead you!”
Today, as a gasoline blender in the supply and trading group, Lauren spends most of the open market hours working with traders to value different commodity components in the marketplace. “It's a lot of back-and-forth, communicating with the traders to understand what's offered in the market and how we at BP would value that,” explains Lauren. She also works closely with terminal operations to provide orders for blending the different components together to make the finished product.
Still, no day is the same: “I love the constant day-to-day challenges that pop up. There are always different decisions that must be made or new opportunities coming to the surface. Things are really fast-paced, which keeps me engaged and interested.”
While all the teams Lauren has worked with over the past ten years have had their own special culture, one thing that everyone working at BP shares is the desire to move the business forward. She’s proud of BP’s initiatives to create an inclusive environment in which everyone can contribute and prosper: “I think all the ambitions that the company has are amazing in supporting employees’ personal and professional development.”
She feels that the company really supports its people:
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