Name: Oliver Hayward-Young
Job title: Propylene Product Supply Manager
University/college attended: University College London
Degree qualification and year of graduation: BSc Economics 2010
YOUR TIME AT INEOS
How did you find out about the INEOS grad scheme/your job, and what attracted you to apply?
I grew up very close to the original INEOS headquarters in the UK, and the company was a sponsor of my local football team. I was therefore very aware of their activities from a young age, having observed their rapid growth throughout the 2000s. I have always been interested in large scale manufacturing, and fascinated by the functions of global markets. INEOS was therefore a perfect fit for me.
How did you find the application/interview process?
For me, the process involved travelling to both our London offices and the original headquarters in the New Forest, near Southampton. I had a total of three interviews, some with HR - involving more competency based questions, and some with senior management and members of the trading team – involving some more technical topics. All in all the interviews were a challenging experience but everyone I met was friendly and approachable, which certainly helped.
What does your role involve? What are some typical activities/key responsibilities?
I look after the physical supply/demand balances of propylene from our Cologne and Rafnes crackers, as well as all propylene supply into our north European polypropylene assets. This involves all trading activity around these assets, as well as trading our Grangemouth and Lavera propylene. In total I am looking after more than one million tonnes of annual propylene flows, equating to roughly $1bn of value. Day to day I am in regular contact with our internal production planning teams and our logistics/operations teams. I also speak regularly with third parties, keeping a close watch on market developments to ensure we optimise our propylene system via the execution of swaps, sales and purchases.
What other roles have you held since joining INEOS?
I was previously working in our Feedstocks Trading Team as Naphtha and LPG market analyst, before moving into my last role as Energy and CO2 Trader. I spent roughly one and half years in each role.
What training have you received?
Beyond in-house training tailored specifically for each of my roles, I have attended several soft skills training sessions, as well as a more extensive external negotiation course. I also have access to the INEOS online training platform which offers a lot of useful support on various topics.
What do you hope/expect for your next couple of years at INEOS?
The business is constantly changing and looking for new opportunities, so I am looking forward to working in that ever changing environment, and taking on the new challenges as they come my way.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I have a lot of responsibility and am given a huge amount freedom in my role. This gives me a great opportunity to take ownership of my work and look for creative ways to add value to the business, which can be very rewarding.
What are the highlights of your time at INEOS so far?
So far I have had the opportunity to work and be based in both London and Cologne, both of which have been great experiences. I have also travelled to a lot of interesting places with work, typically visiting sites and business partners, or attending industry events.
What challenges have you faced in your role so far, and how have you overcome them? What support has been provided?
INEOS runs most of its production assets with a constant, 24/7 throughput, meaning that decisions often have to be made quickly and under pressure. This creates obvious challenges, particularly as decisions often involve very large volumes of product. There is a lot of support and experience within INEOS, which can be invaluable in dealing with these challenges.
What do you particularly like about working at INEOS, and would you recommend it to future graduates?
INEOS is, by nature, ‘flat’ in its corporate structure, with limited layers for example between graduates and senior management. This means fairly regular contact with colleagues who have a lot of industry experience and knowledge, as well as often being given a lot of responsibility from early on. The company is fast growing, reactive to changing environments and proactive in its efforts to develop and optimise its business. This makes it a very interesting and exciting place to work, and I would certainly recommend anyone to join as a graduate.