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Working at the interface of science, tech and people: Natalie’s story

28 October 2019
Natalie is a scientist by training but has always been drawn to communications

“At university I studied chemistry and history of art, as I originally wanted a career in art restoration. But I soon found that materials development was my passion. So, I completed my PhD in chemistry and begun as a research scientist,” she said.


“All through my studies however, I had an interest in talking to people about science and technology, especially those who aren’t technical. I enjoyed thinking about the best analogy to use so someone without a science background – like my mum, who’s an accountant – could understand.”


Finding a unique role at BP


When she joined five years ago, Natalie started in a researching role, developing new bio-materials at BP’s Conversion Technology Centre in Illinois. After a couple of years, she decided she wanted to change to a less conventional career in science.  “I was more interested in talking to experts, learning, and being able to describe this knowledge to somebody else. So, I spoke up and made it clear that I wanted to try something different,” Natalie explained.

When you show initiative, people support you in whatever you do at BP. They want people who are passionate about their work, and if your passion isn’t working in a lab then they really want to get you to where you want to be.

Her role now


Natalie works as a fuels technology claims advisor in the BP Global Fuels Technology team – a role she describes as “unique, challenging and fun”.


“Day to day, I review advertising about BP fuel. If it’s technical it will have to come through me, our technical experts and legal. I also manage technical projects that bring value to the business, like launching a new fuel product to a market or continuously improving our quality processes at retail sites.”


Every day is different. “I love waking up and wondering what cool creative things will be in my inbox to review,” Natalie added.


The power of connecting with people


In her new role, Natalie has discovered what she’s really passionate about - interacting with people.


“I get to work with people from all backgrounds, from digital to marketing, to technology, to legal,” she said.


“Each day I just think, who am I calling, who am I interacting with and how can I make things happen?”


“I've been in my role now for three years, and I'm learning more every day.”

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