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Using skills gained in the military to shape a new career: Tai’s story

03 March 2020
Tai joined BP through the ‘Military Placement Programme’ (MPP), an extensive learning and development programme which allows military personnel to pursue their post-military career aspirations

Before joining BP, Tai Lam was used to a very different work life, serving within the military as a Combat Engineer. Working with Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), Tai played an essential role in saving lives by locating and disposing of explosive devices on the battlefield, additionally conducting route clearance to ensure roads were safe to be on. Tai has since settled nicely into his new role as a commodity risk analyst where he spends much of his time using the skills and experience gained from his old career to shape his new one. 


Since joining BP in the summer of 2019, Tai has spent the last six months learning and working in BP’s NAGP (North America Gas & Power) Integrated Supply and Trading business, where he has been doing everything from assisting his team in creating projection methods for pipelines to ensuring that BP products are priced effectively and accurately.


Reflecting on his transition into BP from the military, Tai highlights the strong sense of camaraderie shared in both workplaces, “For me, the whole one-team aspect is something that’s really important, coming from my military background.”  The people he has met and worked with have only served to further his sense of belonging: “We come from so many places; we have our own likes, dislikes and favourite home sport teams, but regardless, we just cheer each other and encourage each other to succeed.” 


Transitioning out of the military


Tai joined BP through the ‘Military Placement Programme’ (MPP), an extensive learning and development programme which allows military personnel to pursue their post-military career aspirations; receiving technical training, business exposure and commercial experience over the course of a twelve-month placement. 


In part, the programme allowed Tai to continue doing something he did a lot of in the military- stepping out of his comfort zone. For Tai, the experience of the MPP has clearly paid off as he now not only continues to work and learn within the BP team, but he is also at the same time completing his MBA in Finance and Marketing from Northeastern University. 


“BP have always supported the military, which I love,” he says, “they do a lot of things which are aimed at giving back and developing those around them.”  It is this experience he recommends to other former servicemen and women who are looking for a way to “learn something, develop and challenge yourself.”

My interpretation was that it was an oil and gas company but it is much more than that.
Since joining in June 2019, Tai says he has been surprised by just how international a lot of his work is and how the company “continues to develop and grow itself day to day”. One of the projects he enjoyed working on was BP’s cross-border project between Mexico and the USA where his team were tasked with ensuring that pricing going in and out of Mexico was in order. It is in projects like this where he sees the most worth, both in relation to his interests but also in learning new skills and new tactics that enhance performance. Overall however, Tai says that the main appeal of BP was also one of his favourite aspects of the military – a team working together to reach a goal.
If you want to work somewhere that has the camaraderie and focus on that one big goal like you have in the military, come join BP.

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