Meet Laura

Laura studies natural sciences at Lancaster University and joined the Glencore Industrial Placement Programme.


Laura Williams

Health, Safety Environment & Communities Industrial Placement


At which university do you study and what subject?

Lancaster University, natural sciences BSc

How did you find out about the Glencore Industrial Placement Programme?

My university careers team.

Why did you apply to the programme?

I wanted to be actively engaged in environmental work, either in the energy or commodities industries, rather than research to broaden my opportunities after university. I felt the experience and knowledge I could gain from working at the corporate level at a commodities giant would provide me with insights and opportunities for the future. I felt it would inform the kind of change I want to be involved in within the environmental sector.

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

The opportunities are incredible! You can network and learn from people from all parts of the business, not just oil, who have a wealth of knowledge in their specialty and industry. Within assets, there is opportunity to travel; I’ve been lucky enough to visit several regions in South Africa for a conference and asset site visits, connecting and networking with people from all parts of this global company.

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

HSEC, oil industrial assets – covering all aspects of health, safety, environment and communities. The team ensures operations perform safely, responsibly and reliably and looks towards improvement and innovation in these areas for the future.

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

It varies week to week: from liaising with people across assets; consultant project management; research, data collection and analysis; creating and coordinating presentations and; generally supporting the team members where I can.

What was the induction phase like at Glencore?

Much like any induction starting a new role: initial basic training, facilities tours, meeting the team and getting to grips with what the company is about. A great inclusion in the induction period was the talks by people from both marketing and assets, which gave insight into aspects of the company you might not get exposure to otherwise.

What training and support is available throughout the programme?

Since I’ve started, I’ve had environmental incident reporting and management training with people from all divisions and from the UN Environmental Programme on biodiversity environmental development. Throughout the programme generally training is available through Entrima for insight into commodity and energy trading, risk management and operations.

What new skills have you learned on the programme?

I have been able to develop my project management skills, communicating with a diverse group of people – both industrial asset personnel and consultants – as well as improving my technical knowledge around the environment and engineering.

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

The department is undertaking an environmental and social knowledge base assessment of the operational footprint and area of influence for all operated assets. It is designed to identify key knowledge gaps with regards to the collection and management of baseline data and to inform specific department and asset risk-based targets for the coming years.

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

Go into the placement having thought about what you want out of it and how you think you can get it. Be ready and willing to take all the opportunities when they come to you and share your ideas. Put yourself out there and be part of the conversation.

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