As excitement mounts for this year’s sporting summer, and as career opportunities become ever more uncertain given the unsteady financial climate, a group of Imperial graduates have been given the best of both worlds, with the chance to work at the London 2012 Olympics this summer as part of a one off graduate programme introduced by BP.
Claire Madden, due to graduate in chemical engineering this year, is one of six Imperial graduates who will be taking advantage of the programme.
BP’s incoming graduate recruits have been given the chance, following an interview process, to work with the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) before starting their careers in September. During short-term secondments, the recruits will take responsibilities in areas such as transport and main operations.
Claire admitted to Felix that the Olympics had seemed an attractive prospect before she was aware of the programme: “I wanted to go to the Olympics anyway, either to try and get tickets or try to get involved, so the fact that this opportunity became available is something that I was very keen to get involved with”.
Based in the transport sector at the media hub in Bloomsbury, Claire will be tasked with ensuring the media are sent exactly where they need to go. Claire also holds the position of team leader, and will ensure that everyone on her team knows what needs to be done for the day, making sure everyone is happy.
Claire explained how the new programme was set apart from ‘normal’ progression into a graduate scheme: “At university when you’re, for example, working in teams and doing projects you do develop certain skills but you never get placed in such a fast paced situation where you have to act immediately to make sure things work. There’s a lot riding on the success of the London 2012 Olympics but it’s good to know that we’re being trusted with certain responsibilities that many of our peers would not get in their first role.”
As to whether she was excited to be leading the way as much as this programme allows, Claire said that “a lot of the graduates who had just started in the last couple of years wished that they could have been on the programme as well.”
The graduates are currently being trained by BP before they start their roles in the summer, and will undertake further training by the London 2012 Organising Committee.
“Having this experience behind us will give us the confidence to know that we can manage people and we’ve been given the chance to do that on a massive scale.”