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Fast track to the top with ASCO's UK Graduate scheme

For those interested in working in the energy industry in the UK many of the local graduate programmes can be limited to those with a technical or engineering background. However, ASCO’s UK graduate programme caters for graduates from a range of academic backgrounds. 

We spoke to 2010 ASCO graduate, Olga Argodyayeva who studied Management with HR at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University to find out what she thinks about the scheme. Now through the two year programme, Olga holds a managerial position at one of ASCO’s Aberdeen bases. 

“The exposure which ASCO’s graduate programme gives us to the business, to its long term strategy and to the top directors themselves, is fantastic. ASCO believes in investing in its people but quite rightly it is looking for return in that investment. We weren’t just given your typical ‘low-risk’ tasks and projects. The projects assigned to graduates have real business impact. What a fantastic opportunity that is for someone straight out of university.

“Of course, we’re not completely left to our own devices!  An important element of the scheme is that we are all assigned a business mentor as well as a bespoke learning and development plan. Business leaders will also supervise the projects we’re working on, providing advice and making sure we’re on the right track, without stifling our creativity. Company-supported further education and training is another important element of the programme.

“Effectively, we are on a fast track to be ASCO’s business leaders of tomorrow, much more quickly than we could elsewhere I think. There are members of the Senior Management team within ASCO who started here as Graduates. That’s a source of huge inspiration for us and is something that really attracted me to ASCO in the first place.” says Olga

So, what advice would Olga give to those looking to apply for the ASCO graduate scheme?

“Strong leadership, innovation, analytical, teamwork and communication skills are essential. We’re also looking for candidates to show a real enthusiasm and interest in the business, to do their homework and be able to demonstrate that in their application.”

ASCO’s persistent belief that building a strong future demands an investment in people is evidence that even in a competitive job market, exciting opportunities to take the first step up the career ladder do exist. This is a view strongly supported by ASCO’s senior management.

Derek Smith, Group CEO, concludes, “We need to invest in talent for the future – and that’s a key word, investment. People talk about the ‘cost’ of graduates and apprentices. It’s not a cost, it’s an investment in not only their future, but ASCO’s future as a service provider."