On Tuesday 24 October, the QMUL Banking and Finance Society hosted their industry sponsor BP, who facilitated an interactive workshop based on a trading simulation within the Mason Lecture Theatre, Mile End campus.
7 November 2017
The event gave QMBFS members an insight into what it is like to work in the various divisions of the business, on not only the trading side, but also other areas such as research and analytics.
BP is a global energy business with almost 75,000 employees and operations in 72 countries. They offer careers and internships in a variety of fields including business, science, engineering, and supply and trading.
Attendee Meriam Arifa said: “[it was] such an insightful and engaging event, providing a clear understanding on the services offered, application process, and useful tips”
Bharathy Ganesh, also in attendance, said: “[it was] really fun and it provided me with a fundamental understanding of trading commodities”
The day started with a simple trading simulation game. Participants were introduced to the concepts of trading, given an explanation of keywords and industry terms, an overview of oil prices, and an explanation of the difference between gasoline oil and West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which BP trades and refines.
Participants were then split into teams and were given fictional prices of WTI oil, which is used as a benchmark in oil pricing. Teams were then provided with a different ‘monthly’ scenario describing changes in the industry and other influencing factors. They were required to make an assessment of what will happen to oil prices based on the news released in the scenario. This continued for a total of six scenarios ‘months’.
After each scenario, the speakers would debrief the teams on what they thought would happen based on their own experience of trading. This gave participants an insight into how things are analysed in the firm.
Of the three speakers from BP in attendance, one was a participant in the BP graduate scheme, another was a current intern, and the final from the graduate recruitment team. After the game, there was a discussion about career opportunities including spring weeks, insight days for first years, work shadowing, internships for first and second years, and graduate schemes for third years and masters students. This involved details about specific roles and information on how the application process works. Participants received advice on what the recruitment team expects in an application, with hints about what applicants should stress in their CVs and cover letters.
QMBFS President, Nicolae Lojeicco, said that this was "an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into oil trading and to gain useful application advice from a prestigious recruiter”.
Adding to this, QMBFS Vice President and Treasurer Shahzaib Asif said that it was a “wonderful event hosted by BP which provided our members with an insight into the firm and the various career opportunities available for ones who are interested in persuading a career in trading”.