Former Futureboard graduate Lori Peterson updates us on where she is now, sharing some top tips and first-person insight in the oil business. Lori Peterson BP HR 2012

My name is Lori and I’m currently on an HR graduate scheme with a major oil company.

My first rotation has been in a specialised area of reward.  I work in a team that facilitates the management and delivery of our reward programmes and communications from a systems perspective, working in partnership with technical experts.

My favourite thing about my graduate scheme is the freedom I have to develop and tailor my experiences.  I do have daily responsibilities, but I can also seek and create opportunities that will add value to my contribution.  For example, I prepared and delivered a presentation on reward to students on the same degree I completed in 2012.  I am so grateful for the time I was afforded to research our company strategy and structure, get comfortable with financial metrics, and apply appropriate branding to my slides.  These skills will really help me in the long run as I grow with the organisation.

My role as a Reward Analyst is a bit techie and a bit HR specialist.  On an average day I might e-mail our central reward team and confirm the reward package elements for a group of employees (such as senior-level oil traders), draft a PowerPoint mock-up of how this rewards might look like and attend a meeting to discuss logistics for the system’s launch.

In 2013 I was involved in a complete re-branding of our annual total reward statements for company executives. It was fantastic being involved in such a high-profile project.  I was able to gain experience in project management, stakeholder engagement, and third-party contracting as well as the technical aspects of a successful delivery.

I’ve also organised site visits to a couple of our other locations and sit on the planning committee for our annual black-tie graduate charity evening.  I seek out as much involvement as I can to build transferable skills, network and have some fun along the way.

It’s been almost exactly two years since I went through the graduate recruitment process.  I was lucky to have the opportunity to apply for this scheme and while I worked hard to get my role, I have Futureboard to thank as well.

My Futureboard contact kept me well-informed through every recruitment activity and gave me lots of valuable tips about handling interviews and assessment centres.  She was responsive, professional and supportive; all things that helped me perform to the best of my ability and help me secure my place on the scheme.

My next rotation will be a generalist HR Advisor role supporting our exploration division.  I am really excited about gaining broad exposure to other areas of HR beyond reward.  The differences between my two rotations will help me choose what kind of role I’d like after the scheme.

People often ask me about how to successfully navigate the graduate recruitment process, especially assessment centres.  My advice to future candidates would be to approach the day with enthusiasm and as if you are at an actual job.  All organisations will want to see contribution, collaboration and genuine interest.  Adopt the mind-set that you already work there and you will be more confident and relaxed, allowing the assessors to get a better read on your actual capabilities.

Ultimately I’d like to work with graduate resourcing and on-boarding, or possibly find my way back to a reward team.  In my spare time I’m making 2014 the year of travel.  I have several trips planned to different places in Europe throughout the next several months.