ExxonMobil is the leader of the six largest gas and oil companies in the world. Often ranked as the highest revenue making corporation on the planet, this American multinational energy giant employs over 80,000 people across all its international operations.
- Generous starting package
- International opportunities
- Bursary and relocation allowance
- Culture of ambition where hard work is rewarded
- Could be working in challenging climates or conditions
- Competitive application process
- Few graduate roles available for non-engineers
ExxonMobil is an American multinational oil and gas company that for the last few years has been ranked either the largest or second largest corporation in the world in terms of revenue. It is the world’s largest oil refiner, with 37 refineries spread across 21 countries, and has a global reach with operations in most countries. As the leader of the six largest gas and oil corporations on the planet, ExxonMobil employs over 80,000 people. With its headquarters based in Texas, the corporation works under the brands Exxon, Mobil and Esso globally, and owns a plethora of smaller subsidiary companies, including Imperial Oil Limited and SeaRiver Maritime.
The history of ExxonMobil began with the famous American mogul John D. Rockefeller; ExxonMobil is a descendent of his company the Standard Oil Company, which was established in 1870. The US government, fearing the company’s monopoly of the industry, split the Standard Oil Company in 1911 into 34 companies. Exxon and Mobil were two of the companies formed from this division, and they merged back together in 1999 in an infamous 80 billion dollar settlement.
ExxonMobil operated in the UK originally under the Vacuum Oil Company, and now runs its British business through different divisions, which include Esso Exploration and Production UK, Esso Petroleum Company, Mobil North Sea LLC, and ExxonMobil Chemical.
ExxonMobil regularly donates to environmental causes and projects (such as its own Save the Tiger cause), and is working on making its own operations more green and efficient. However, ExxonMobil has been criticised by lobby groups and organisations such as Greenpeace on their denial of global warming (a 2011 study by Carbon Brief showed that there were links between most climate scientists who denied global warming and ExxonMobil), and for lack of funding towards developing alternative energies compared to its competitors.
ExxonMobil gives graduates the chance to work worldwide in a variety of roles, but first let’s talk about the company’s pretty comprehensive starting salary and bonus package. Its UK graduate programmes offer a salary in the range of £35,000 to £39,500 (dependent on whether you possess a bachelors, masters, PhD, etc.), a £1,000 tax free acceptance bursary, and a £2,500 relocation allowance. The company will even put you up in a B’n’B for free during your first month. Full English anyone?
The company offers a good choice of programmes, especially if you are interested in energy and marketing, as ExxonMobil runs three schemes: Chemical Sales & Marketing, Gas & Power Marketing, and Marketing & Commercial. These programmes involve working in sales, customer contracts and analysing market trends and demand. Marketing & Commercial includes a career path in the areas of Retail, Aviation or Lubricants & Specialties. ExxonMobil’s Finance scheme works on a rotational basis with two or three placements, which may involve financial analysis, forecasting, and improving the way the company’s finances operate. The IT programme will mean you work in a diverse mix of IT roles, supporting commercial customers, being a part of the team that runs and improves the company’s own IT systems, and working on new projects and software. If you are interested in a career in HR, its HR programme will involve a mix of roles, including recruitment and business analysis.
As you would expect, ExxonMobil also offers a few different programmes solely for Engineering graduates. You can work in Production in its Aberdeen location, as part of its Upstream Early Career Development programme, where you will be tasked with finding technical solutions to the transportation, environmental impact and technology used in the oil and gas production process. You will be working in a harsh climate and in tough conditions so you need to be flexible and up for a challenge.
The Refining & Chemicals programme takes place at Esso’s Southampton refinery, where you have the chance to do a placement at one of the company’s many refineries abroad. ExxonMobil’s Supply & Trading scheme offers a chance to work in the buying and selling of all the company’s products and managing the trading operations of its refineries in Europe. Finally, ExxonMobil offers the EMEEL programme, (ExxonMobil Engineering Europe Ltd), which involves a role in the commercial and technical side of engineering, with the opportunity for placements at international refineries, engineering offices or America’s Central Engineering office.
Most of ExxonMobil’s graduate career paths require you to have an engineering degree or background, with the type of engineering qualification needed specific to each programme. IT and HR will consider applications from any degree discipline, although those interested in the Finance Programme will have to have studied a more numerate subject. You may also find that with schemes such as Gas & Power Marketing, possessing a second language is a distinct advantage. ExxonMobil doesn’t specify in terms of degree classification, although as mentioned above you will be paid more if you possess a master’s or PhD. Applications open in September and you can only apply to one programme each year. There is no set deadline for applications but best apply early as ExxonMobil deal with applications in the order they’re received.
Initial application is through an online form, where there is also an online psychometric and numeracy test. This is followed by three questions that aim to test your personality. Next up is a 20 minute telephone interview and then an interview with an employee from the area of the business you have applied to.
If you get through all five rounds you then take part in an assessment centre, which involves a panel interview, in-tray exercise and group exercise. The panel interview lasts 45 minutes, where two interviewers will ask you questions about your future career, personality, and knowledge. The in-tray exercise is an interview with an hour’s preparation beforehand; you are tested on your ability to prioritise and organise fictional memos and then asked to compose a written response to a mock email. The interview after is a discussion about how you went about completing the task. Lastly, in the group exercise you are put into teams of three to four to complete a group task, and subsequent presentation. You will also have a dinner with graduates who are already working on your chosen programme and managers you could be working under.
Placements at ExxonMobil are diverse and well paid; they usually start in July, last for a year or 8 weeks, and pay £24,000 pro rata per year. On offer are year-long placements in the business areas of Technical, IT, Finance, Marketing & Commercial, Marine Operations and Community Affairs. Placements are available for students in their penultimate year of university, though you must be on track for at least a 2:1. However, this doesn’t apply to Community Affairs, where you can also apply if you have recently graduated. Summer placements provide a chance to work in Gas & Power Marketing, HR or Refining & Chemicals. You need to complete the placement in the summer before your final university year and again, have a 2:1 as a predicted degree result. However, for the summer placement you also need to be studying towards a MEng degree.
Applications are made online and include an online psychometric and numeracy test, followed by a telephone interview, both of which last 20 minutes. An interview with a manager is the next stage. Unlucky if you apply to a Gas & Power Marketing role, as these applicants are the only ones who are tested at an assessment centre.
No. of employees worldwide: 80,800
No. of employees in the UK: 7,300 employees and over 1,500 contractors
Annual graduate intake: 30
Student placements: 19
Industrial placements: 13
Approx. no. of applications per year: 6,000
Graduate starting salaries depend on the type of degree you hold:
Non-relevant PhD: £36,500
Relevant PhD: £39,000
Business Service Functions
Gas & Power Marketing
Marketing & Commercial
Supply & Trading
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