By Alice Getmanchuk
Two truths and a lie: (1) bp stands for British Petroleum, (2) bp is just an oil and gas company, and (3) working remotely is never a good experience.
Actually, these are all false. Surprising, right? After interning with bp this summer in their Innovation & Engineering department, I would say “surprising” is the most fitting word to describe the whole experience which is why I thought I’d start off this way.
Many of us attribute bp to the gas stations we see in our neighborhoods that fuel our cars, and that’s simply a misrepresentation of the company. bp is one of the oldest global energy companies. And while “bp” used to stand for “British Petroleum”, the name doesn’t have a meaning now other than representing one of the most technologically innovative companies in the world. bp is “vertically integrated” which means they have a part in every step of the oil and gas process: extraction and production of crude products (formerly known as upstream), refining and distribution (formerly known as downstream), and trading. Additionally, they have large divisions for wind energy, biofuels, and solar power technologies.
Coming into bp, I only knew a small fraction of the operations and sectors I listed above. As a computer engineering major, I applied to bp because I’ve heard great things about their company culture, Reimagining Energy campaign to be net zero by 2050, and relationship with the T&M program. I wasn’t sure how I would fit into a company like this while developing professionally and making an impact since this company has about 70,000 employees scattered across the globe. Formally, my position this summer was Software Engineering in Cybersecurity within the Innovation & Engineering (I&E) department, but I worked on a variety of projects. One of the projects was in data governance with my bp buddy who is actually a T&M graduate Jonathan Zoia! It was great to have a connection within the organization, especially one that really improved my internship experience.
The I&E department was unique since in addition to our regular projects, we also had an intern-led project: creating a voice user-interface for some region within the company. It was such a broad task, but in the end we established a minimum viable product for wind turbine repair and learned a lot about the different resources out there for creating a VUI from scratch. Even though we were virtual, I had a great time working with and getting to know the other interns.
Overall, I can surely say I grew significantly from the internship experience: personally and professionally. bp has so many more opportunities than I mentioned: SWE community, health & wellness classes that they encourage, opportunities beyond your position, etc. With all of its current and future ventures, bp is going to stay an important player in the energy industry, and all of us in the T&M program are fortunate to have the opportunity to build connections and be a part of this future.
Alice is a Junior in T&M Class XXVII. She is majoring in Computer Engineering and has recently completed her summer internship with BP in their Innovation and Engineering Department.