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How pursuing HR can lead to hugely rewarding career opportunities

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Rosina Kostiani is HR Advisor at BP having joined the company in September 2013 through the Group HR Graduate Programme. 

She completed a postgraduate diploma at Nottingham Trent University and is a CIPD-qualified HR Professional. Before that, she studied for her Bachelors in Greece/Iceland and Masters in the Netherlands.

We spoke to Rosina to find out more about what it’s like working in Human Resources and how to break into the field.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I enjoy travelling, finding out about other cultures and learning foreign languages. I have worked in eight different countries in a broad range of organisations, from small start-ups and NGOs to Fortune 500 companies. Interesting fact: I have a degree in Icelandic!

I am passionate about Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), which is both about perceiving difference and valuing it. I specialised in D&I during my Masters and that was the focus of my CIPD applied research as well – I was later shortlisted for WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Award in the HR & Recruitment category, and I can say that it was an honour to be part of a group of such talented female role models across different industries and professions.

What does your current role involve?

I am an HR Advisor within BP’s Upstream segment, supporting three different client groups – Technology, IT&S (Information Technology & Services) and Reservoir Development. My role covers the full HR generalist portfolio for my functions and regions, championing all aspects of people management and supporting the different Leadership Teams in setting and delivering the strategy and people agenda.

When I first joined BP, I worked in the Reward Centre of Excellence, supporting the global Individual Performance Management system and processes, Reward education initiatives, and Global Reward Policy. I was also involved in setting up the company’s HR portal including review of the user experience and content management.

After that, I rotated into Castrol, where I was in a global HR Advisor role looking after the Supply Chain and Health and Safety functions. In that role, I had the opportunity to work on Talent & Capability programmes, implement change initiatives and also support our Safety agenda.

HR is not usually associated with being exciting – lots of students might think it’s a bit dry. What would you say to that?

I think it’s quite the opposite. It’s incredible to understand how different things impact people, how people impact the business outcome and the influence that HR can have on that. That was the main motivator when I started thinking about HR as a potential career. Having worked in BP and seen that in a broader scale, I find HR even more fascinating. It touches every aspect of an organisation, and it’s a very broad discipline so it offers a dynamic and varied career.

Why did you decide to join BP’s Graduate Programme?

I was looking for a structured graduate programme that allowed for rotations, as you usually do not have the opportunity to experience different specialisms as a junior entry-level employee. I felt it was important to have a broader exposure and see the types of roles that exist before making a decision that could determine my career path. Also, I wanted to complete the CIPD HR professional qualification and BP was supportive of that. There was a robust internal development offer in place as well.

What made me choose BP over other programmes I received offers for was the interactions I had with the graduate recruitment team. I could see that they truly lived the values that the company conveyed, which is not always a given. I felt that this was the kind of culture that I wanted to work in and that it would enable me to be productive whilst bringing my full self to work. 4.5 years later, I am still very happy with that decision.

What advice do you have for graduates who might be thinking of applying to BP?

Students may think that BP only recruits Chemistry and Engineering graduates, but it’s not the case.

There is a very broad range of positions and opportunities, and I would invite you to have a look. There is lot of information on BP’s career website on our Values & Behaviours, and for me it is important to look at those and consider whether they resonate with you (hint: you might be asked about them!)

So my advice would be: JUST APPLY!

Applications for BP’s HR graduate scheme are now open. Click here to apply. 

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