Meet Laura the Graduate
Published: 14 Jul 2015
Business graduate Laura Murray is 23 and works for Aker Solutions after securing a first-class honours degree in management with marketing.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?
I started on the Aker Solutions UK business graduate development programme last September. The scheme is designed to help develop my management skills and during the two and a half years I’ll gain experience in seven different parts of the business, spending four months in each. So far, I’ve worked with the supply chain office and subsea lifecycle services.
I’m currently part of the finance team where we analyse past projects to see if there is scope for improvement on future campaigns, which could result in cost efficiencies for our clients.
Each rotation helps demonstrate how the different parts of the business work and integrate with each other and is helping me to develop a greater knowledge of the products and services offered by the company.
YOUR JOB’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The biggest challenge was being selected for a place on the scheme in the first place. It’s a hugely popular programme with high numbers applying every year which makes it very competitive.
The assessment day involved interviews and presentations in front of the management team which initially made me quite nervous.
As the process drew to a close, however, my confidence had grown and I knew this was a company I really wanted to work for as everyone was really enthusiastic and the work ahead promised to be very stimulating.
Moving to another new division after four months was also daunting at first, but I’ve found it has given me the opportunity to meet so many people that I’ve very quickly got to know my colleagues and communication across the departments is much easier.
BEST THING ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
The rotational nature of the graduate programme opens your eyes to all the different aspects of the business.
Once I finish my current placement, I’ll be working with the communications team, followed by the operations department to experience the manufacturing side of the company.
After I complete this, I’ll be with the project management office, and finally the tendering team.
Graduates are seen as an important part of the business and my managers are incredibly supportive, encouraging me to be creative and innovative. I feel that although I’m a junior member of staff, my ideas are listened to and taken on board.
I’m also part of the Solutioneers, Aker Solutions young person’s forum. I’ve been involved in inducting new personnel which is a great privilege. I’ll also be part of the Solutioneers’ team helping out at our stand at the Offshore Europe event in September.
BEST CAREER ADVICE?
Get as much work experience as you can, even if it’s not necessarily in the area you want to end up in.
The oil and gas sector is an industry that recognises transferable skills, so if you’re leaving university and taking a job that isn’t ultimately your dream role, don’t despair; you will be learning techniques for the future whether it’s working as part of a team, meeting deadlines or dealing with challenging people.
Also, have faith in your own abilities and speak up for what you believe in and people will respect you more for it.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?
As my family hail from Aberdeen and work in the sector, I have a good knowledge of the possibilities that a career in the oil and gas industry offers.
My main dream is working in a role I’m passionate about and can make a difference. I’d also like to travel with work and experience different cultures around the world.