BP needs engineers & scientists for internships and co-ops
The company seeks chemical, mechanical and petroleum engineers, geoscientists and geologists. Recruiters target diverse students and professional organizations
BP America will hire more than 700 fulltime interns and co-op students in 2013.
“Our internship and co-op programs are not just a twelve-week summer job; they serve as the first step for career opportunities. It’s the pipeline for our talent,” says Simon Kho, director of U.S. university relations. “Our goal is to hire for fulltime positions from that group.”
Kho advises students to choose their career paths by identifying what technical skills they are learning and what they like to do. Stories of individual workers posted on BP’s website help students learn more about specific jobs. The site’s “degree matcher” feature allows students to enter each major and find out what kinds of jobs that major opens for them.
The company’s main focus in engineering hiring is on chemical, mechanical and petroleum engineers. In science, BP is recruiting people with geoscience and geology backgrounds. There are openings for all engineering disciplines, though, as well as support areas like supply chain management, finance and human resources.
“We are looking for top technical talent, with good representation of diversity in our talent pool,” Kho says.
To assure that diversity, BP sends recruiting teams to forty-eight core schools, including HBCUs like Morehead College (Atlanta, GA), Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA) and Spelman College (Atlanta, GA). Hispanic engineers are recruited at the University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, PR) and University of Houston (Houston, TX). BP supports minority engineering programs at its core schools and works with the departments to connect with minority students. Recruiting teams are sent to regional and national NSBE, SWE, SHPE and other conferences as well.
“We know there’s strong competition for talent in the diverse workforce,” says Kho.
Alfred Johnston, diversity resourcing manager, confers with BP’s many business organizations to determine diversity needs. Those positions will be filled from the ranks of new employees joining the company. At BP, diversity includes military veterans and people with disabilities as well as racial and ethnic minorities.
“We have diversity goals rather than specific quotas,” he says. “To achieve diversity at senior management levels, we look at the college pipeline for the future.”
Kho encourages students to reach out to BP as early as possible, in their freshman or sophomore years. The hiring cycle begins in the fall, so he encourages students to apply online if they aren’t able to attend a recruiting event in August or September. Online applications get as much attention as those made in person.
“That fall time frame is the right time to apply,” he says. “It’s a competitive process. After that, the application process is closed for the year.”
Johnston recommends that students connect with alumni from their school who are now BP employees through the campus career development office or social networking media like LinkedIn. Joining a student chapter of a minority engineering organization is good, and being a leader in those organizations is even better.
“Chapter leaders are invited to functions and events throughout the year,” he says. “They are able to network with recruiters.”
Interns are well paid. Compensation includes partial benefits and housing. “We pay competitively for top talent,” says Kho. “It’s not just to get you in the door. Pay is excellent throughout your career.”
Resource groups and development programs
Once on the job, BP has ten business resource groups (BRGs) to support employees: the BP Asian network; BP Pride, the LGBT network; BPAAN, the African American network; WP&PTB for working parents and parents-to-be; BPWN, the women’s network; Gray Matters for senior employees and those approaching retirement; Energia, the Latino/Hispanic network; Veterans and Family for active, discharged or retired military and family members; the New Hire network for recent hires of three years or less; and Beyond America for international employees.
All BRGs are open to all employees regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or tenure. Group leaders are encouraged to partner with other BRGs annually to encourage diversity and inclusion.
New employees attend a two-day program, Discover BP, to give them a full orientation to the company and to integrate them into BP’s culture. All employees are connected to their line managers. Mentor connection opportunities are available. Specific attention is directed to support minority and other diverse employees.
Young engineers can boost their careers through the rotational Upstream and Downstream Challenge program. It’s a three- to four-year program with rotations of twelve to eighteen months. The Integrated Supply and Trading graduate development program combines supply, trading, risk management and IT skills leading to management positions.
Jobs are all over the lower forty-eight states and in Alaska. While the main corporate locations are in Texas, Illinois and Alaska, BP has refineries and alternative energy projects across the U.S., from California to Florida.
“We are creating awareness of what our industry is all about,” says Kho. “It’s not just oil and gas. We are working actively to address energy issues around the world. In fact, eight of the ten top-revenue companies on the Global Fortune 100 list are energy companies. Careers in energy are more important than ever.”