Let’s meet Béatrice! She’s currently a Total intern in France, where she is working within the Trading & Shipping division, in our Trading Operations – West Africa Oil Desk - department.
Moving our products around the world is a vitally important part of Total’s operations – how did Béatrice develop an interest in Trading and Shipping, and what’s her educational background? “First, I studied Technical Marketing at IUT in Nice. Then I obtained a Business Management Bachelor’s degree through an Erasmus program at VIVES University College Kortrijk, in Belgium. After this, I studied at Kedge Business School in Marseille where I obtained a Master’s degree in Maritime Management, Logistics and International Transport. Armed with an overview of the maritime transport issues related to international trading companies, I wanted to put this knowledge into practice during my end-of-study internship. I was particularly interested in the trading operations of the products sector, so that I could gain technical knowledge about the specificities of the transported materials.” For Béatrice, the details of the internship were a perfect match for her skills and background. “I saw the job offer on the Energy Job Online website, and then I applied on Total Careers website.” And then she began the Group recruiting process.
So what does the day-to-day role involve? Béatrice explains. “I organize the shipping operations of petroleum products in the West Africa zone. This zone is particularly sensitive because the majority of the operations are done by transhipment (transfer of the products from the ship ‘mother’ to ‘daughter’ boat) and the time between the negotiation of the contract and its realization is often very short. Therefore, it is necessary to be reactive and have a good knowledge of both the area and the products being transported.”
She tells us about what the experience has taught her: “I’ve learnt how to deal with emergencies related to ship loading and unloading operations in West Africa. I also learnt how to manage emergency situations in maritime activity and I really enjoyed the chance to join a dynamic and very friendly team in an international work environment.”
Reflecting on her internship, what does Béatrice now think are the most important skills for success in this particular area? “It’s all about organizational qualities and being able to anticipate situations that may arrive. I enjoy the adrenaline rush when operations are scheduled from day-to-day, and I love being at the heart of the action.
She has some good advice for others interested in following in her footsteps, “Do not hesitate to ask questions and show solidarity with colleagues. Mutual help and team spirit are essential for the smooth running of a trading operations team.”
Has the internship helped Béatrice decide on her own future career path? “Thanks to my internship, I have been able to work with different stakeholders upstream and downstream and in various situations. It’s confirmed my interest in trading petroleum products, because it is a sector that covers many aspects of transport and international trade. I now appreciate the complexity and the issues much better, and I would like to deepen my technical knowledge whilst continuing my career in this field.”