Shivi Agarwal is a senior BHP/Finance major with minors in Supply Chain and Psychology. This past summer, Shivi held an internship with BP in their Integrated Supply & Trading division. She enjoyed the experience and decided to accept a full-time offer from BP to join their new Finance & Risk Rotational Program.
BP is currently accepting applicants for their early experience programs offered to freshmen and sophomores, BP STEP, Integrated supply and trading (IST) and BP scholars program. Applications are being accepted through March 15, 2016. To learn more, please go to www.bp.com/us-studentopps.
What were your specific responsibilities in your internship?
I worked in Power Settlements, working in the back-end operations of the trading sphere. I worked on two main projects. The first was a cash forecasting project in which I was responsible for improving the current cash forecasting model. The Power Settlements team is required by the Treasury to submit a five-week cash forecast every week of how much they think the trades between the various ISO markets, which operate a region’s electricity grid, are going to be. The original forecast had several limitations, including lack of procedural standardization across the regional ISOs and differing timings in the availability of data. I analyzed the current situation for the cash forecasting modelling and provided solutions for possible improvements by holding discussions with analysts. I also created market overview charts, invoicing schedules, and a quantitative variance analysis to allow the analysts to better understand and improve the limitations.
The second major project I worked on was the cataloging project, in which I led the creation and revamping of documentation processes for the entire Settlements division. After presenting my proposal to the Settlements board, I remodeled the cataloging procedure for the division, as well as created a comprehensive SAP manual and an onboarding guide for new hires. Both of those are still being used today!
What is unique about the company and culture of BP?
I really appreciated the open door policy. I was able to meet with high-end executives and managers to find out more about what they do and their personal backgrounds. They were always happy to dedicate one-on-one time with me and offer advice to help me succeed and grow.
BP organized meetings for the interns in which leaders from different IST divisions would share about their role at BP and the nature of their division. These meetings were extremely helpful in understanding the core business and various operations of the company. They also held “Lunch and Learns”, where we learned ways to improve and develop our skills. As an intern, we had to give a final presentation and they helped us prepare for that. They really provided resources for us to understand the company culture, help us improve, and make the most out of the summer.
BP also organized several fun events for the interns, like going to Top Golf and bowling, as well as a group volunteering event with the Boys & Girls Club to give back to the community. As a sponsor for the Olympics, BP even gave us interns the opportunity to meet Olympians and Paralympians and listen o their remarkable stories.
Was there any one experience that really stood out to you?
As part of my Cataloging Project, I was able to present a proposal to the Board of Settlements Division. They responded with a lot of positive feedback and approved my proposal. Seeing my ideas actually being implemented and having a lasting impact on the organization felt incredibly rewarding.
Why did you decide to work there full-time and what will your role be?
I liked the team-oriented culture and found it to be rewarding. I found there to be a lot of growth potential and I think BP will be a fantastic company to propel my career forward. The presentations by the division managers were very enlightening and helped me understand the unique skillsets I would gain by working with BP. Most importantly, the people of the company were vital in helping me form my decision. Everyone there was so intelligent, supportive, and wanted to help me grow. Ultimately, I wanted to work for a company that would have a positive impact on me, and I felt that BP would provide that.
I will be in the Finance and Risk Rotation Program, a three-year rotation program in the Integrated Supply and Trading division. It is a relatively new program for BP, based out of the Houston office. Because it is a rotational program, I will have the opportunity to get exposure in various realms of the trading business and to increase my experience overall.
What would you say to students who are nervous about going to work in the Oil & Gas industry with the current downturn in that industry?
While the Oil & Gas industry is notorious for market fluctuations, there are several other industries, such as Retail and I-Banking, that are equally as temperamental. However within the O&G industry, there are many sectors that are not as affected by these fluctuations, including Supply and Trading. Do your research on each industry and the various sectors within them. There is a lot of room to learn and grow your career in Oil & Gas. Don’t be deterred and be inspired to take on a challenge.