What's it like to do an engineering virtual insight placement with bp?


Year 12 student Paul Ofordu took part in bp’s virtual insight days to find out more about opportunities in engineering.

We're delighted to present 16-year-old Paul Ofordu, a year-12 student at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet, north London. In his own words, he says why he took part in bp’s virtual insight days to find out more about opportunities in engineering.

Why did you want to do work experience with bp?

I wasn’t lined up to do work experience with bp, but as virtual programmes began, I started to take more interest in a wider range of engineering opportunities.

bp is part of a movement that is incredibly important to the whole world: getting to ‘net-zero by 2050’. I was immensely interested in how they would do this, so I dived right into the work experience, hoping to learn about the different parts of bp, what they do, how they can impact the future, and how they are going to achieve the emissions target.

What was your initial reaction to the idea of virtual insight days at bp?

At first, I didn’t think virtual work experience could be as informative, intriguing or fun as having a day in bp’s actual facilities.

However, after listening to the different speakers and to the other students doing the virtual work experience, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was learning. The experience definitely changed my mind.

Could you tell us a bit about what the four-day placement entailed?

Over the four insight days, we listened and spoke to members of bp teams from different sectors. We learned about different types of engineering, finance and other areas of bp. We also did activities based on some of those sectors. For example, on the final day, we took part in an environmental debate from
the viewpoints of different groups, including activists and energy companies.

What knowledge and skills did you get out of it?

I was able to improve my public speaking, as we talked together in small teams, communicating our own points and personal views. In terms of knowledge, I learned much more about how much money, time and energy goes into obtaining oil for fuel and other uses, such as polymers. I also learned about the opportunities open at bp and the paths I could take from here.

What was the highlight for you?

I loved learning about the mechanical engineering side of bp, and what they are doing to improve efficiency, sustainability and lower carbon.

What did the speed networking involve?

We introduced ourselves briefly at the start of the programme, and by the end of the four days, we were able to share our social media and LinkedIn profiles, so that we could stay in contact and potentially be important connections for each other in the future.

What would you say to others considering taking part in similar virtual opportunities?

It would be a waste not to do it. The amount of knowledge you can gain from these virtual opportunities is immense and they’re fun at the same time. If you’re considering doing a VWEX with bp, you definitely should!

These insights were brought to you by Future TalentEd magazine.


This piece was first featured in our Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Future TalentEd magazine for careers leaders, parents and students.

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