At which university do you study and what subject?
I study chemical engineering at the University of Bath.
How did you find out about the Glencore Industrial Placement Programme?
My university’s careers department sent me the advert for the role on targetjobs.
Why did you apply to the programme?
I wanted a commercial/financial placement as opposed to an engineering role despite my degree. I spent some time working on a chemical plant during the Summer of 2021 and although this was a great experience, I realised I wanted to try something else. Glencore seemed like the perfect place for me to start working due to the fact that commodities were somewhat linked to my degree, but the company was very entrepreneurial.
Why should students apply for the Industrial Placement Programme at Glencore?
I get the feeling that a lot of people on placement elsewhere are not given responsibility or much work. That does not happen at Glencore. Here we are expected to contribute each day from the beginning. Although this can be challenging in terms of learning and improving, it is ideal. We are certainly not wasting time here and are treated like regular employees.
Which Glencore team are you part of and what do they do?
Currently I am a part of the data management team. My team is responsible for the onboarding and validation of all market data. We also implement all curve methodologies into our internal data management software in order to automate the calculations and produce the forward quotes that risk managers use to mark the traders’ positions.
What is a typical week like in your role, eg typical activities and responsibilities?
I have a wide range of projects and daily tasks of varying lengths. Some projects take a few hours while others can stretch for months. This can include assessing the quality of data, process automation, data visualisation for presentations and system support to the wider teams.
What was the induction phase like at Glencore?
The induction phase entailed a few presentations and some paperwork on the first day. After that we had training and got straight to it!
What training and support is available throughout the programme?
The first few weeks we had hour-long presentations given by senior risk managers on a variety of topics. These were super insightful and gave us a core understanding of some key areas in commodities. Another key part of our training were presentations given by the senior traders on each desk. In these they gave details on their specific desks and provided us an insight on what being a trader is like. Finally, we have this online platform that has pre-recorded lectures on all things commodities as well as Teams meetings with the creator of the platform who runs through specific topics in detail each week. We had plenty of training but, overall, the majority of learning is done on the job.
In terms of support we all have a catch-up with HR every six weeks to discuss how everything is going.
What new skills have you learned on the programme?
I would say my knowledge in the world of commodities has grown massively. I came in knowing very little about it and I am impressed with what I know now in comparison. I have also learned a bit of Python programming language and have improved my MS Excel skills. I have become very comfortable in using the internal data management software as well.
How can students best prepare for a placement year at Glencore?
Try and do as much research as possible and maybe develop some programming/Excel skills, but you will learn everything you need to learn on the job. Outside of that it’s just the usual cliché stuff: be ready to learn and work hard and it’ll be fine. I would add that as all the placement students end up in different teams it is good to get along with your peers as they will learn skills and know things you won’t, which is handy when you need to ask for help if needed (and vice-versa).