Meet Alexander

Alexander economics and politics at the University of Exeter. and joined the Glencore Industrial Placement Programme.


Alexander Nichol-Gent

Industrial Placement Programme


At which university do you study and what subject?

I study economics and politics at the University of Exeter.

Why did you apply to the programme?

Glencore was appealing to me because of its entrepreneurial culture and focus on personal development. I thought the placement programme would be a great opportunity to learn more about the energy sector, which is something I have a particular interest in.

Why should students apply for the Industrial Placement Programme at Glencore?

I would recommend applying to the Glencore Placement because it is an invaluable opportunity to learn from people who are at the top of their game. You are given a lot of responsibility, which is a great chance to challenge yourself and gain first-hand experience.

Which Glencore team are you part of and what do they do?

I am part of the structured finance team - who are involved in long-term financial commitments. This often means bespoke debt and equity financing arrangements, where Glencore enters into an offtake agreement.

What is a typical week like in your role, eg typical activities and responsibilities?

My typical activities vary. For example, I often conduct research on companies for business development opportunities and assist with client pitch books/presentations.

What was the induction phase like at Glencore?

The induction phase was very welcoming., I had the opportunity to go into the office the week before I started - to meet my team. On the first day, we had a series of talks covering the onboarding process. We then had regular HR catchups to see how we were getting on.

What training and support is available throughout the programme?

I have received all kinds of support: from specific resources on structured finance, to access to an online learning platform, which specialises in the commodity markets. Generally, everyone is happy to help if you have any questions.

What new skills have you learned on the programme?

Developing my organisational skills has been the most valuable. This goes hand in hand with the level of responsibility you are given.

Describe a project or piece of work you have been involved in.

I was involved in putting together a financing proposal. This meant I was able to learn about the process of structuring a deal; from putting together a pitch book and term sheet to internal discussions and sitting in on client meetings.

How can students best prepare for a placement year at Glencore?

I would recommend refining PowerPoint and Excel skills. This is often overlooked as it can sound like generic advice; however it is useful in your day-to-day role and can save you a lot of time.

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