Why #ExperienceWorks – Alumni Insights

Today we are hearing from two alumni working with BP who reflect on the impact work experience had for them.

James Lyne, Graduated from School of Geosciences in 2011, now Exploration Geologist with BP.

Getting that first piece of relevant work experience can understandably be a daunting and difficult task, however don’t underestimate the importance of it! When studying for my BSc in Environmental Geoscience I knew I wanted to work in the energy industry from a technical standpoint, but had limited industry connections and no understanding of the full spectrum of opportunities open to me as a science graduate. Undertaking an internship at WoodMackenzie in the summer of my 3rd year, I believe was an absolutely critical step in my career. Don’t underestimate the value that displaying your enthusiasm, proactivity and passion has when influencing potential future employers and who knows, it may well be the same company! You’ll also have the ability to judge whether the sector / working environment is what you want – remember, a career spans a long time. For me the real value was in helping guide me to my eventual graduate job of choice. It helped open my eyes to the range of possible career directions I could step in, and with the experience on my CV I felt more confident in my own progression. I made the choice to undertake a more specialised technical MSc and now have been working at BP for 5 years as an exploration geologist. From day one I have been engaged in a vast array of challenging diverse global subsurface geoscientific projects – and if it wasn’t for my first stepping stone, things may well be different.

David Smith, Graduated from School of Geosciences in 2015, now Geohazards Specialists with BP.

When first applying for roles in large industries, often it’s hard to get your foot in the door.  As a fresh graduate, it can be frustrating filtering through role-after-role requiring a minimum of 1 year relevant work experience.  However one way students are bagging roles – even before graduating university – is through assessed summer internships.  Typically carried out between the penultimate and final years of your degree, an assessed internship is one path into the industry of your choosing; often without the worry of obtaining relevant work experience.  Learn, network and have fun – this will allow you to make the most of your internship.  During my Geoscience internship at BP, I was working on a project which allowed me to develop my technical skills, alongside developing some soft skills through organizing a poster exhibition for all BP interns on site. From my internship, I was lucky enough to receive a job offer, which I graciously accepted and now have been on the BP graduate scheme for little over a year. The only reason I was offered a job from BP was through the internship and for that reason, I cannot emphasis enough the importance of my summer internship.

BP is currently advertising for places on its Discovery Programme and Shadow days for 1st and 2nd years and multiple Internship programmes. See MyCareerHub for details: https://mycareerhub.ed.ac.uk/students/organisations/jobs/107834/bp-international



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