BP South Africa Bursaries: Your Gateway to a Rewarding Career in Energy

BP is no doubt one of the biggest energy companies in the world, operating across 70 countries and employing over 70,000 people. As a leading global energy producer and retailer, BP plays a pivotal role in driving technologies that support more environmentally friendly energy solutions. In South Africa, BP is committed to developing local talent and empowering careers in the energy sector through impactful bursary and internship programs.

BP South Africa’s Commitment to Developing Talent

BP recognizes that nurturing skills and knowledge among young professionals is crucial for shaping the future of energy. Their bursary programs aim to uncover promising talent and equip students with practical work experience to take on leadership roles. As a responsible corporate citizen, BP also wants to contribute to developing the technical competencies required to build South Africa’s capabilities in various energy sectors.

Through bursaries and internships, BP opens doors for deserving candidates seeking careers in engineering, geology, finance, IT, and other core disciplines. Students gain exposure working alongside industry experts on live projects, helping BP deliver innovative solutions to complex energy challenges. At the same time, these placements enrich students’ academic training with hands-on learning in a corporate environment.

BP offers bursaries up to the master’s degree level to attract gifted individuals still pursuing their studies. For those who have completed their qualifications, internships provide a stepping stone into full-time positions at BP. Both pathways lay the foundation for long-term careers with opportunities for global mobility within the BP network.

BP South Africa Bursaries on Offer

BP South Africa currently manages the following bursary schemes:

Undergraduate Engineering Bursary

This prestigious 4-year bursary targets high-performing students enrolled for bachelor’s degrees in chemical, mechanical, electrical, or petroleum engineering at a South African university. Successful candidates receive full tuition fees, prescribed book allowance, monthly stipend, and guaranteed internship placement each year during vacations.

Postgraduate Engineering Bursary

For engineers keen to further their qualifications, this 1-2 year bursary covers master’s degree studies in fields related to BP’s operations. All academic costs are covered plus a monthly allowance. Interns get exposure to cutting-edge technical projects and research.

IT Bursary

This 3-year bursary is awarded to Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or Computer Science students. It provides the same comprehensive financial benefits and work experience as the engineering programs. IT specialists are essential for driving BP’s digital transformation agenda.

Geoscience Bursary

A 4-year scheme supporting Bachelor of Science degrees majoring in geology, geophysics, or related earth sciences. Hands-on practical training and site visits give insight into upstream oil and gas exploration activities. Bursars help unravel the energy resource potential below South Africa’s soil.

In addition to the above full bursaries, BP occasionally funds individual modules/courses for students showing strong potential in finance, marketing, and other business-facing fields crucial to BP’s integrated operations.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for a BP South Africa bursary, candidates must meet the below baseline criteria:

  • Be a South African citizen
  • Display excellent academic performance – Minimum admission requirement is 60% average for undergraduate programs
  • Pursuing a qualifying degree at an accredited South African university full-time
  • Show passion and commitment to the energy industry through extracurricular activities
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and involvement in community initiatives
  • Meet medical requirements for work in BP’s operations
  • Able to commit to working for BP for the same duration as the bursary period upon graduation

Additional assessments of each applicant’s suitability consider character references, motivation statements, career goals fit with BP and performance in interviews. A mix of academic merit and soft skills is important for selection.

Application Process

All bursary applications must be submitted online through BP South Africa’s careers website. Here are the typical steps:

1. Review eligibility and program details

Consult the overview and check you meet basic criteria before starting an application.

2. Register an account

Create a profile with contact and educational details to save a draft application.

3. Complete the online form

Provide personal particulars, academic transcripts, ID copies, references, motivational statement, and CV/resume.

4. Upload supporting documents

Scan and attach any required paperwork like medical reports or character references.

5. Submit by the deadline

Applications typically open in June/July and close in August annually. Submit before the specified date.

6. Aptitude assessments

Shortlisted candidates may be invited to complete online tests assessing numeracy, literacy, etc.

7. Interviews

Top performers proceed to face-to-face or virtual interviews with a BP selection panel.

8. Notification of outcome

Final decisions communicated via email within 8 weeks. Successful applicants accept bursary contracts.

It’s crucial to follow all instructions carefully and meet deadlines. Incomplete or late submissions may be automatically rejected, so allow ample time to gather documents. Reach out to BP for assistance if needed.

Financial Support and Benefits

As the flagship element, BP bursaries cover 100% of tuition, registration, and prescribed book fees for the duration of the degree program. For engineering students, this amounts to around R300,000 over four years.

In addition, bursars receive the following financial assistance:

  • Monthly stipend of R5,000-R7,000 depending on degree level
  • Medical aid and insurance coverage during studies
  • Laptop and software packages for academic work
  • Reimbursement of relocation expenses for internship placements

Beyond monetary value, the experience gained from internships is extremely enriching. Bursars work with industry professionals on meaningful projects while exploring various roles and functions within BP. Often these placements lead directly to graduate jobs.

By removing financial barriers and guaranteeing prestigious work exposure, BP bursaries open up life-changing career opportunities that may otherwise remain out of reach. Recipients have a truly rewarding experience and leave with competitive skills from day one on the job market.

Student Testimonials

“The BP bursary has helped me fulfil my dream of becoming an engineer. I’ve gained hands-on experience working on massive infrastructure projects during my vacations. It’s amazing to see the real-world impact of what we learn in class. I feel well prepared to take my career further with BP after graduation.”

  • Sibusiso Mhlongo, 3rd year Chemical Engineering student

“Being able to focus full-time on my studies without financial worries was priceless. I topped my class and received numerous awards thanks to the support. My internships handling technical challenges in the field gave me vital industry exposure. I’m now employed as a Process Engineer after completing my BSc.”

  • Lerato Dlamini, former Geology bursar

“I appreciate how BP invests in nurturing young talent from diverse backgrounds. The bursary removed financial barriers and unleashed my potential. Working with IT experts on live systems during breaks kept me motivated. I’m grateful for this opportunity to skill up and take the lead in driving digital solutions.”

  • Kutlwano Maluleke, final year Computer Science student

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How competitive is it to secure a BP bursary?

BP receives thousands of applications each year for a limited number of bursary places. The selection process is extremely rigorous with less than 5% of candidates making it through to the final rounds. To increase your chances of success, aim for top academic achievement, demonstrate a strong passion for energy, and sell your unique strengths through a compelling application. Networking can also boost visibility to selection panels.

2. What is the work commitment after completing studies?

Successful bursars are contractually obligated to work for BP South Africa for the same duration covered by the bursary award upon graduation – typically four years for an undergraduate degree. This allows BP to recoup its investment in your education and skills development. However, many bursars choose to build long-term careers within BP, taking on roles with expanding responsibilities.

3. What locations are bursars placed for internships?

Work experience is mainly offered at BP’s South African operations across different energy business segments. This includes refineries, petrochemical plants, inland depots, and technical support functions. Select high-performers may get opportunities for international rotations within BP’s global network as well. Placements are matched to students’ qualifications and career interests.

4. Do bursars receive mentorship?

Absolutely. Each bursar is assigned an experienced employee as their mentor to offer guidance on navigating both academic and professional aspects of the program. Mentors provide coaching, connect bursars to relevant networks, and champion their career development within BP. This nurturing element helps build bursars’ confidence and prepares them to become future industry leaders. Regular check-ins allow mentees to discuss progress, seek advice on challenges, and learn from their mentor’s extensive expertise. The mentorship component greatly enriches the value of BP’s bursary offering.

5. What should I include in my motivational statement?

Your motivation statement gives selection panels unique insights beyond academic scores. Emphasize your authentic passion for the energy field through real-world examples. Highlight any industry exposure from part-time jobs, projects, or research. Discuss how your strengths and interests align with BP’s purpose and culture. Demonstrate strong career goals matching the bursary. Use precise language, provide concrete evidence and keep within the word limit. Crafting a compelling statement showing dedication will boost your profile.

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