Advice For Young Graduates And Professionals In Pursuit Of Growing In The Energy Sector And Beyond

This month, bpSA’s young professionals give South Africa’s youth key pointers on finding one’s passion, expanding one’s skillset, and growing in the workplace. For those entering the workplace for the first time, this can be an extremely daunting experience but as the young professionals in this article stress, there are endless opportunities for success in the industry and beyond.

#1 Upskill with a work-place readiness programme 

Whether you’re still in school, have graduated or are already in the workplace, training programmes that will give your career a boost are everywhere.

Looking at home, bpSA’s two-year early career and graduate programmes offers an exciting and challenging opportunity to learn and gain workplace experience.

The company also offers a diesel mechanic training programme, Electrical Apprentices and Fitter &Turner Apprentices and high school learners are afforded the opportunity to have their studies funded through the Energy Mobility Education Trust (EM Education Trust). 

“The fund encourages academically gifted learners from high schools in previously disadvantaged regions across South Africa to pursue careers in the sciences”  explains bpSA CEO, Taelo Mojapelo.

“Since its inception in 2014 and through various partnerships, the EM Education Trust has given grade 10 -12 learners a fair chance at gaining university entrance passes in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines,” Mojapelo adds.

#2 Pick a sector that aligns with your values

Make sure you know what your interests are when on the look for a position or vacancy. The energy sector isn’t all just engineering and comprises exciting opportunities in marketing, retail and sales, procurement, finance – the list is endless. So take the time to look into the various sectors and choose an area that aligns with your vision for your future. 

As Masese Madigoe, a Transport Shift Supervisor at bp Rustenburg explains, reaching out to established professionals for mentorship is a game-changer and has ensured her growth did not remain stagnant. “I also use bp’s existing learning and development platforms to find mentors and upskill myself in my area of operation and interest.” she adds. 

#3 Building relationships is key

In order to build good relationships in the workplace, it is important that you are able to work in a team and be collaborative. This rings true for bpSA franchise owner, Thandi Thabethe Ngxongo whose approach in business and life has always been about drawing people in. 

Her personal background, values, and open communication, makes it possible for her to add value that leads to strong connections with bp partners, staff, customers, and stakeholders.  

Expressing how she manages to build meaningful relationships in the workplace, she says, “I walk around the forecourt and interact with staff and customers -I dedicate time to interact and build relationships. This has been key in developing loyal customers, some we know by first name. I also go to the office, catch up with the back-office staff on current issues, catchup on site performance, respond to emails and attend meetings. Some days I dedicate to visiting my creditors, debtors and other key stakeholders.”

#4 Be determined to succeed

Sifiso Madolo, a bpSA dealer at Morninghill, has faced a few challenges in his journey including a lot of red tape associated with operating but he did not give up on his dream. 

He attributes his success to his can-do attitude as he is on the pursuit of being a better version of himself and looks for opportunities to learn new things on a daily.

And as bpSA franchise owner, Thandi Thabethe Ngxongo, explains when your determination leads to success your greatest motivation to keep going is that you’ll: “wake up everyday to do what you love, what you’re qualified for, what you are passionate about – this is what the world needs.”

The bpSA team wishing the youth of South Africa a happy Youth Month. 

About British Petroleum Southern Africa

bp has operated in Africa for over 100 years, pursuing a range of interests from oil and gas exploration, crude oil importation and refining to the distribution and marketing of gas and refined products through bp Ultimate, Aviation, bp Marine and Castrol. The head office for bp Southern Africa is based in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The core bp brands include the multi award-winning bp Ultimate fuels, Wild Bean Café, Pick n Pay (PnP) Express and bp Express convenience brands.

bp is committed to investing in the communities in which we operate and believe in these communities meaningfully. This has led to a firm understanding of local needs to support the sustainability of local communities. The overall aim is to achieve sustainable socio-economic development for all.

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