Process Engineer

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Loughborough University
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • BP

What was the application process like?

I applied for a year long internship with BP. The process involved completing an online application form, which included some essay style questions. (Now you would also need to take some verbal and numerical online psychometric tests.) This gave me a great opportunity to demonstrate my passion with I had for the internship at an early stage of the application. Following this I was invited to the London offices in Sunbury for face to face interviews. There I was asked about both technical aspects and also competency related questions. The technical interview allowed me to talk through my thought process, I was asked to design something which I had not yet covered in detail at University, but the assessor was keen to see my methodology rather than just knowing the correct answer from the offset.

“BP really built on these key skills and were passionate about developing me into a competent engineer”

What did you do on a daily basis?

I worked in the Upstream segment of the business, which is involved in discovering, obtaining and extracting oil and gas from reservoirs around the world. I worked on a variety of projects at once, including design work, safety assessments and operational reviews, technology research and the development of software tools to name a few.

Highlights of the job?

The biggest highlight of the job for me was to work on a major project that BP was interested in Iraq. I worked on a huge amount of the initial design for separation and flowlines between facilities. This project really gained momentum and exposure within the company and as a result I had an opportunity to meet and work with world experts. The real joy was discovering that my work lead to the successful bid for the Rumaila oil field in Iraq, from which BP is now producing 1146 million barrels of oil a day.

What was your greatest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me was being asked to present my work on liquefied natural gas weathering models to the commercial teams at Canary Wharf. My project was inherently very technical, and the resulting spreadsheet incorporated some very complex work, but the really enjoyable aspect was explaining this in a presentation to colleagues who are not engineers and as such are more interested in the financial and business aspects of the project. It was challenging but extremely fulfilling, and probably one of the most enjoyable presentations I have delivered.

What did you learn on your placement/internship?

I learnt so much from my placement that i can only scratch the surface here. To put it in perspective, University taught me the foundations of the engineering and science that i needed at BP. After this, BP really built on these key skills and were passionate about developing me into a competent engineer. I had exposure to training courses as an intern (which was unusual among my peers at university), also the staff were very keen to teach me new methods and spend time with me so that i can continue with the new skills and carry out work independently.

How was this placement/internship affected your career prospects?

This placement could not have improved my graduate job prospects more! After attending a graduate assessment centre at the end of my internship, I was offered a graduate job. This really took the pressure off of me in my final 2 years at university when my peers were looking for jobs. BP was the first company i applied to for an internship, and am really excited about starting as a graduate!

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