BP recruiters Tony Valente and Louis Bergsman visited the Tulane campus to conduct a trading simulation and discuss BP’s Trader Development Program (TDP) with the Freeman School of Business. The TDP is a three year rotational program that focuses on doing the job at hand, but always having questions. As Tony put it, in week one, your goal should to figure out where the bathroom is. As one develops and progresses in the program, traders start asking “why are we doing this, why do the traders continuously ask me this question, what can I add to a process?”
Tony and Louis graciously agreed to meet with us to answer a few of our questions.
Louis, a Tulane alumnus who graduated in 2013 with a degree in mathematics, is currently a refinery analyst responsible for the tracking activity at all refineries in the Americas. This is his second rotation in the TDP. He says that every day is a learning experience; it’s more than just understanding the nuts and bolts of trading, it’s also about building relationships with people outside of your group, such as onsite refinery employees and those working in the analytics division.
Tony is from Illinois. A chemical engineer by trade, he has had over 5 different careers at BP. He currently works as the manager of learning and development. Not to reveal any grays, we certainly didn’t see any, but Tony has been with the company since it was BP/Amoco, almost 20 years ago. There’s something to be said about a company’s culture when their senior management has 20 years under his/her belt. Not a bad place to work we’d say.
Students attending the trading simulation were treated to a glimpse, albeit a very brief one, into the life of a trader. Trading crude oil, they had to react quickly and decisively to news events flashing across their screen; a focus on the fundamentals was key to their trading success. Some participants performed very well. Louis left to use the bathroom and made more than $5 million on his trades, beating everyone at the session. Tony’s bathroom advice seems to work pretty well! Others, however, didn’t do quite as well. The humble writers of this blog win a gold medal for misreading news, losing money as a result. A true tragedy if there ever was one.
For those interested in a career at BP, pay special attention to this last part.
BP isn’t just looking for smart people; they’re easy to find for a recruiter. Smart individuals who are driven to learn and succeed, and open to other positions, Tony says, are much harder to find. If you want that dream job, show that you’ve put in the time and effort to make it happen, it might just pay off someday.
For more information about the opportunities at BP and in Integrated Supply and Trading, visit http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/careers.html.
Meredith Marmande & Jamison Sheehan
Master of Management in Energy Candidates 2016