HR Degree Apprenticeship at bp

Tania Curtis Alumni Profile Photo

Esher Sixth Form College Alumni, Tania Curtis talks about her HR Degree Apprenticeship journey at bp.

At Esher: 2016-2018

Subjects: Maths, Art and Business

Tell us about your education journey?

At Esher College (2016 – 2018) I studied Maths, Art and Business which some people see as a weird combination, but in Business it helps to be creative and analytical. For some reason I never really wanted to go to university, maybe because I heard so many stories of people graduating and still not being competitive in the job market, so I didn’t see the point of all the debt. I started to look around for other options and found out about Degree Apprenticeships.

Tell us about your Apprenticeship journey with bp?

Tania Curtis Alumni BP Office

I started the apprenticeship in 2018 and got to experience 7 different roles in 4 years. It’s so great early in your career to experience different roles and learn what you enjoy doing.

I worked in the office four days a week and attended university in person one day a week. I loved having a mix of University life, using my brain to learn, and getting stuck into the world of work. I have now finished the scheme with a First Class BA (Hons) Business Studies Degree, and I am a Chartered Manager.

I am still at bp and my role currently is an Employee Insight Analyst, this means I carry out research on how our employees are feeling. This research could be focus groups, surveys, interviews. I enjoy combining maths skills with human resources.

What are the pros of an Apprenticeship route?

Tania Curtis At Work

There are so many positives I could write pages! When I first heard about degree apprenticeships, I thought they were too good to be true and there must be a catch. I got a degree all paid for, a generous salary, work experience, and I am a certified chartered manager – which really helps you stand out in interviews. It was great having a balanced week by going to university one day, using different parts of my brain and keeping the week interesting. I haven’t sacrificed much of the typical University experience as I could join any Uni society, tours, events etc so I still experienced that part of life. I also have a great work life with so many events such as rock climbing, ice bars, summer ball, pub quizzes, and so much more!

What Advice would you give to your 17 year old self?

Tania Curtis Alumni 2

To use the STAR method in interviews and applications. After spending time recruiting, I know that even if someone is saying all the right things if they are saying it in a confusing way, it’s hard to give them the benefit. The STAR method helps you organise your answers so it’s obvious what you’re trying to say.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. For example if you did Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) and during a job application they ask for an example of you working as part of a team you could say: S- During DofE my teammate was struggling with her really heavy backpack, T- we had to make it to the next checkpoint on time, A- I offered to take some things out of her bag, R- she felt better and we made it to the checkpoint on time.

To prepare for an interview try writing down a few STAR examples based on the companies values and behaviours.