Commodity Risk Analyst at BP

Start Date:
Central London & City
Programme Type:
School Leaver Programme
£25,000 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

Review Score

8.7 /10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I am a commodity risk analyst, working for the European Gas and Power business of BP's trading company. My main tasks for each day involve explaining the trader's P&L, verifying that our prices are correct and checking that trading activity is legitimate.

I work with a lot of different teams to perform my role, from IT to the traders themselves. Everyone is approachable and happy to answer any questions.

One of the main projects that I have been working on is creating a resource for new joiners to learn about commodity risk as well as the European gas industry.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


When you begin the programme you have a meeting with the development team who talk you through the available training sessions. I have attended some that were effective foundations for learning about the gas and trading industry. There were also training sessions for varying levels of IT skills, as the work is very computer heavy. The teachers were very helpful when I was unfamiliar on the subjects. I still feel as though there is a lot that I need to learn, but this will come while on the job.

One minor issue with the training sessions is that they are very centred around oil and it would be useful to learn about other aspects of the BP business.

One really good thing is that the grads and school leavers set up an early talent committee where we arrange lunches where senior people in the business come and talk about their career paths and advice.

There is a culture of asking questions which means that people are happy to answer anything you ask - even if you feel it may be stupid! Therefore, anyone who wants to learn, can learn.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy the work that I do - it is quite interesting to see how the traders make/lose money as well as reading articles as to why the markets caused that.

My team are all really friendly and helpful. I am comfortable chatting to them and I enjoy spending time with them.

The company culture fosters learning and everyone is approachable and willing to help/answer any questions they can. I find BP takes very good care of their staff by providing many subsidised items to encourage a healthy lifestyle (lunch, gym, healthcare).

I also really like the grad/school leaver community that has built up and we all socialise together. Other than this, it is useful to have other people who are going through what you are going through as this helps you to overcome any obstacles.

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4. How valued do you feel by BP?


I have received positive reactions to my work from those within and without my team. There have been occasions where my line manager was given recognition for his work and specifically mentioned me as one of the key contributors. People from outside teams have also mentioned the high quality of my work - and been keen to reward it.

I do want to be involved with more projects, as I occasionally feel that these tend to be given to the grad member of my team rather than to me.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


I would have preferred a longer induction period of more than a day, followed by some training. I think there is not so much standard training that all school leavers have to do when they begin because we all start different job roles. Perhaps some standard sessions of trading concepts/how trades are values etc...

The programme had a general structure of three yearly rotations and one two year rotation. The idea is that that final rotation will mirror what you eventually want to do.

At the end of the scheme, school leavers have the opportunity to sit the Assessed Trader Qualification, which should open up a path into becoming a trader. Once you sign up for this, I believe that the training becomes more structured.

However, this structure is not set in stone. This isn't necessarily a criticism as this allows the scheme to be more flexible towards the wants/needs of the individual school leaver.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


The support from the training providers is very good. After the session they provide you with their training materials for you to review in your own time.

We also received their email address for any follow up questions. One time I needed help with a spread sheet and emailed the trainer. Rather than simply emailing the response to my question, he came to my desk and helped me to set up the spread sheet correctly.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


Before I even began the programme the school leaver who left my role as I joined has already contacted me to tell me about the role and some preparation I could do. She was appointed my "School Leaver Buddy" when I joined. All school leavers have one to guide them through the programme. We have regular catch ups and she plans of teaching me about the oil industry when I move there.

When I first joined, I had a weekly catch up from my line manager who told me how she thought I was getting on and my next steps.

I was also appointed a mentor. She had been very helpful with discussions about my next role on the programme. My mentor was also a school leaver and is now a senior person within BP. It is useful to have a contact that who is now senior but started from the same point as me.

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7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


I am lucky enough to still live at home so I don't need my salary to meet living expenses. However, I do know most school leavers live in London in this wage.

I do need the wage to pay for an annual season ticket, which it does. However, BP offer a loan to all those that require a season ticket to get to work anyway.

Otherwise the wage covers everything else I need it for - from car insurance all the way to holidays and disposable income.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


There are plenty of company organised networking events specifically arranged for grads and school leavers as well as special networking events general employees. If you join a network e.g. BPWIN (the womens' network), there will be plenty more events to attend.

BP also has an arts and culture club which provides tickets to events such as private viewings of art exhibitions and photography classes.

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in local schools.

I find I have less time to exercise, as most of my morning/evening is taken up by getting to and from work but BP subsidises a gym that many people go to at lunchtime.

9. Would you recommend BP to a friend?


9b. Why?

I already have recommended BP to two of my friends.

I had the opportunity to go to university and on a School Leaver Programme and chose the programme because this programme starts grads and school leavers at the same point. I didn' t feel the need to go to university just to get back to this point anyway.

I also think that this programme is a really good route into trading.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BP?

Firstly - I wish I was told not to panic or get nervous when I felt that my application process when bad. I clearly didn't do too badly but I felt that I did and that probably impacted my performance on the day.

BP has five values. In the online application process try and word all of your answers to align with how you have personally demonstrated these values. This advice was given to me and it works!

For the assessment centre, you will be asked to reflect on how your tasks went. Don't be afraid to criticise yourself as knowing where oneself can improve is desirable in an employee. If you make a mistake in the task, they would much prefer you to highlight (and how you could do better next time) it than ignore it.

Finally, talk to the other candidates at the assessment centre. These will be your future colleagues and I am still friends with the successful candidates that I met that day.

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