46 students embarked on a life changing journey over the summer by taking part in BP’s ‘Career Ready’ internship programme at our offices in Sunbury, London and Aberdeen
The aim of the internships is to connect local students with inspirational role models to help broaden their horizons and to increase their aspirations. Career Ready students are usually from disadvantaged backgrounds and often lack the networks, confidence or role models of their more advantaged peers.
The paid internships are designed to give the students a greater understanding of what it’s like to work in a corporate environment and can support them while they explore the incredible possibilities that are available in the job market.
The students are assigned to one of our businesses, either in Downstream, Upstream or Integrated Supply and Trading (IST). They then work in small teams, over a period of six weeks, on a range of exciting projects. The projects are all real-life scenarios. The interns could find themselves producing and editing a health and safety video or even helping to evaluate bids for a future contract.
My time at BP has been enjoyable, interesting and a huge learning curve. Not only has the internship allowed me to increase my knowledge of the oil markets, but it has also allowed me to discover the school leaver program and a potential career path for myself after school.Joshua Wakefield working in operational excellence
The interns are provided with quality training to support them in their new roles as well as on-going mentoring. For many of the students this will be their first job so the ‘on the job’ training and coaching they receive is invaluable in helping them to understand workplace practices, to learn transferable communication skills and discover the importance of team work. The skills they gain should really help them progress in their future career.
My career ready experience has been an amazing opportunity. I have gained insight into various career paths throughout my internship and have experienced what it is like to work in a corporate environment. If I had the chance to, I would sign up to the programme again!!Joel Owusu, working in the planning performance management team
During the internship the pupils are expected to add value to the company, by putting into practice what they have learned on the scheme.
Supervisor Laura Steedman discovered the benefit of having a fresh pairs of eyes on her project. Laura’s intern, Jeswin, worked with BP’s North Sea team on a project to improve platform efficiency and to optimize production. In particular the team was looking at improving the efficiency of a pump.
Laura said “There’s a bunch of people in here that have got so stuck in their ways… Like myself – I’ve been looking at this project for a few months now and then Jeswin just came along and read one of my reports and said “what’s this about?” He identified a mistake in my report just by asking questions. If you get the right kind of person, it doesn’t matter what kind of experience they’ve got, it’s the ability to question things and that’s what the programme is about.”
The career ready programme is great and has really opened up my mind to many more opportunities in life.Annah-Joe working in IT&S Analytics
As well as having the opportunity to take part in an internship, each student is assigned a business mentor for a 12 month period to support them. The interns meet their mentors before they start their placement and they continue to receive support well after they finish.
Throughout the year BP’s mentors act as the student’s guide. They use their own experiences and knowledge to help their mentees develop the skills and confidence they need in the work place.
For the internship supervisors and mentors it is a great opportunity to develop their own key skills in coaching and leadership, whilst supporting the professional and personal development of young people. It’s also a great opportunity to give back to the local community, and offers a chance for them to positively influence a young person at the very start of their career.
I think that the Career Ready intern initiative is a great way to give students a high-value work experience whilst also delivering real value to BP. I wanted to develop line manager skills for myself whilst also giving my intern Jayce an opportunity to learn about engineering within a large-company environment.Chris Bridge, materials & corrosion engineer, integrity management
Career Ready is a national charity that links schools with businesses to help bridge the gap between education and the world of work. It helps to prepare less advantaged students for the world of work by giving them access to real-life work experience, through a personal mentor, an internship, masterclasses and workplace visits.
BP has supported the programme for the past 12 years, and this year we have taken on the largest intake ever. It’s a true testament of the commitment of BP employees to their local community.
Find out more about BP in the community.
Throughout my BP journey I was able to interact with a variety of professional people, gain an insight to what BP teams do on a daily basis and develop my skills in communication and networking. It was overwhelming to learn new terminology and gain crucial knowledge! Overall it has been a great experience!Simone Charles working in the commodity risk team