We started our BP careers at London 2012

There are always plenty of opportunities for graduates at the leading energy company, but some of 2012's recruits began their jobs here in a very special way

BP, one of the world's leading energy companies, was an official partner of London 2012.

Thanks to this relationship, BP was able to offer graduates joining the company in September 2012 the chance of taking on a paid secondment with LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) before starting their careers at the company.

BP hoped that this opportunity, dubbed the "Class of 2012" programme, would allow these graduates to build up their skills before starting their graduate positions, get to know some of their future colleagues, and have some memorable experiences.

We spoke to four graduates who joined BP that year who took part on the Class of 2012 programme. We heard why they joined BP, what their involvement in London 2012 was, and what they planned to take from it into their roles at the company.

While intakes of graduates in the coming years are unlikely to be able to work at an Olympic Games in the UK, we're sure there'll be plenty of exciting opportunities for them at BP too.

Tara Behtash

At BP

Trading graduate

At London 2012

Transport Team Leader

"I'm from Paris, and studied in France and then in London. During this time, I became interested in the energy sector. It's been less impacted than some sectors by the economic crisis, and is changing a lot at the moment as the industry adapts to some new challenges.

Joining BP

While at university, I did an internship in oil and gas trading at an investment bank and started then to really consider working in the energy markets.

I took part in a trading game organised by BP and enjoyed the experience, and also really liked the BP people I met. I then found out that BP had one of the most highly regarded graduate trading programmes out there. It's a three-year rotational programme focused on giving you all the skills you need to be an effective trader.

To apply, I had to do some online tests and then attend assessment centres, which included a trading simulation, a case study exercise, role playing and a competency interview. They were intense, but I enjoyed them - all the exercises are relevant to the job and allow you to demonstrate different skills.

I'm starting as an analyst on a team working with energy-related derivatives, and I'm very excited about what I'm going to be doing!

My role at London 2012

I wanted to take part in the Class of 2012 programme because I love sport, especially swimming.

I was a Transport Team Leader at the beach volleyball arena, right next to Downing Street. We dealt with all the transport between there and the Olympic Park, making sure that everybody arrived and left on time, and that we had enough buses.

An important part of my role was managing the volunteers in my team, dividing up duties, organising breaks, and giving everyone some responsibility.

It was the first time that I'd managed other people, and it was challenging in some ways - for example, some of them were a lot older than me. But it was great to work with so many different people - it's been a really varied and interesting experience from which I've learnt a lot.

BP arranged for the participants on the programme to live together and also invited us to lots of networking events. So we got to know each other, met some very senior BP people, and found out more about BP's culture. As BP is such a big company with so many offices and departments, I might never have met many of these people otherwise.

Best Olympic experience

Going to the opening ceremony dress rehearsal - it was really amazing!"

Max Bruegger

At BP

Commercial (Integrated Supply and Trading (IST)) graduate

At London 2012

Bus Systems Team Leader

"I studied Arabic and Russian at university, and these languages pointed me towards the energy industry.

I became interested in BP specifically because, as one of the world's biggest energy companies, it operates in every continent. I love travelling, and liked the fact I'd get the opportunity to do so with BP.

Joining BP

The Commercial IST graduate scheme is a three-year programme made up of three year-long rotations.

In my first year, I'll be an analyst working with our traders. In the second and third years, I could be working in ship chartering, or foreign exchange, or risk. So I'll get exposure to every aspect of BP's business and really get to understand how a global oil company works.

I found the application process very smooth. It wasn't easy to get the job, but the HR people at BP were very straightforward, helpful and efficient. They were very clear at every stage about what they expected from us and what we could do to prepare.

My role at London 2012

I thought spending the summer living and working with other graduates joining BP would be a great way to get to know them and to build up a network that would be a good base for my career. We all ate together every day and went out together, and I made some good friends.

I also really wanted to get involved in the Olympics, because they're probably not going to come back to the UK in my lifetime, so being part of it now was really exciting.

I worked at the Mayfair hotel where all the FIFA officials were based as part of a team making sure all referees, officials and senior people within FIFA got to and from training and the football stadiums.

Inevitably for a complex transport system, things were sometimes difficult. FIFA would call up for an extra bus or cancel one at short notice, so we had to be able to react quickly, not only solving the problem but also telling FIFA what was going on. So I definitely improved my time management, problem-solving and communication skills.

Everything I've learnt will be transferable into my role at BP - there I'll also be working in a high-intensity environment with senior figures and expected to get things done quickly and efficiently.

Best Olympic experience

I was the only British person on my team and was working with people from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Philippines, Spain, and elsewhere. It was really interesting getting to know everyone and finding out why they were working at London 2012."

Aisha Chaudry

At BP

Information Technology and Services graduate

At London 2012

Heathrow Games Control Assistant

"I graduated with an IT and business degree in 2010 and when I first left university worked as a business systems analyst at another company. But I didn't feel challenged there, so I decided I wanted to join a different graduate scheme.

Joining BP

I researched a few graduate schemes in IT, but BP's scheme stood out. It's a two-year rotational scheme that offers the opportunity to work in various roles, so I'll get lots of different challenges and experiences.

My first placement is working with the business analysts where I'll be helping to implement a range of IT systems across BP's trading environment worldwide.

After that, I could get involved in an IT support or programming role, or I might be able to stay in my original role if I want to.

My role at London 2012

I worked at Heathrow in a team responsible for managing the arrivals and departures of Olympic athletes and officials.

My main role was to collect information about arrivals and departures, and liaise with everybody involved in the process so that the right information went to the right people and everything ran smoothly.

It was quieter after everyone had arrived for the Olympics, then busy again for departures, and then we went through the whole process all over again for the Paralympics.

Being part of delivering the Games was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I thought it would also be a good chance for me to develop some new skills that I could bring to the graduate scheme at BP.

We faced different challenges on a daily basis as Heathrow was so busy during the Games - 80 per cent of people coming to London 2012 travelled through the airport. There were so many things that could have gone wrong, so there was a lot of problem-solving involved. But, given the scale of the operation, I think we did really well!

I feel part of BP already as there were so many social events organised for us by the company - including welcome drinks at the top of Tower Bridge!

BP also set up a social networking site for participants on the Class of 2012 programme where we could post status updates and photos. BP arranged for us all to live together, which has also strengthened our working relationships.

Best Olympic experience

I met Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic champion triple jumper, when he arrived at Heathrow. I chatted to him for a bit - he was impressed I was working for BP and was very nice!"

Katie Pollitt

At BP

Commercial (Integrated Supply and Trading (IST)) graduate

At London 2012

Staging Team Manager

"I studied economics at university, and knew I wanted a career in finance. A large energy company appealed to me more than an investment bank because I wanted to work for a company closely involved with the markets, but without having to do the very long hours you might have to do in banking.

Joining BP

As part of my degree, I did a year's placement with BP. I was in the crude oil analytics team helping to decide what kind of oil products BP's traders should be buying on the markets to supplement its own supplies.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful, and I found the oil and gas markets very interesting - there's so much going on there at the moment. After that, I got put forward to the graduate scheme assessment process, passed that, and got offered a job.

I'm joining the Commercial graduate scheme. Integrated Supply and Trading (IST) is the part of the company that manages BP's supply of its products to its customers and I'll be working on commercial aspects of this process. I'm going to start off as a markets analyst, looking at how the oil and gas markets are moving.

My role at London 2012

I love sport, and I'd already applied to volunteer at London 2012 when I heard about the Class of 2012 programme, so it was a perfect opportunity for me.

I wanted to get involved because I found the idea of being part of the Olympics while they were being hosted by my own country really exciting.

My role was to help manage the VIP cars system, and greet VIPs when they arrived. I got to meet IOC committee members, presidents of various world sports federations, and sports ministers.

I learnt a lot in the role about organisation and working under pressure that will help me in the future. When an event in the stadium finished, we'd have to work out how to manage getting 100 people into their cars all at once. But we all had plenty of training before starting on the programme: role-specific training, venue-specific training - my team even got to practice with fake clients.

It was really good to meet other graduates joining BP. I've found out what everyone else is going to be doing within the company, which has given me lots of new insights into how BP works.

Best Olympic experience

It was always great to meet the VIPs, especially when they were particularly happy with what we'd done and told us we were doing a good job."

You can find out how these graduates found their first year at BP here.

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