365 Retail recently spoke with Stephanie Bobik, Food Category Coordinator, ANZ at bp about her experiences building a career in retail at bp. From her early FMCG ambitions to unexpected learning curves, Stephanie lifts the lid on what it’s like to start your career in retail at one of the world’s largest energy companies. 

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Stephanie Bobik, Food Category Coordinator, ANZ at bp

Q: Before we get started, could you tell us a bit about yourself, your role and what you like doing outside of work?

Of course, Hi, I’m Stephanie Bobik, I’m based in Melbourne, Australia. I studied Marketing at university and I work for the global energy company bp. I’m a Food Category Coordinator by day, and I love that my job allows me to deliver excellent customer experiences, in store and online. When I’m not at work you can find me visiting Melbourne’s foodie hotspots, at a spin class or meeting new people.

Q: What were the main influences on your career choice? 

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I’ve always been a huge foodie, and I love bringing my family and friends together around a table to share good food and spend time with each other. Food is everything to me, so I knew I wanted to build a career in FMCG in some way. 

My parents were a big inspiration, they both had creative jobs while I was growing up. My Mum worked for Nintendo in their Marketing department, and I grew up hearing stories of the impact product launches could have, for example when she’d go into hospitals and children could see their favourite characters come to life. I knew that I wanted to have a career where I was able to tell the story of a brand or product, and combining that with my love of food was a dream come true! 

Q: Working at a global energy company isn’t the most conventional route into FMCG, why did you choose bp? 

Although I knew FMCG was what I wanted to do, working for an energy company has been an unexpected cherry on the cake. If you think about it, bp is one of the only companies in the world that gets people from A to B. So, whether you are going to work, seeing a family member, it wouldn’t be possible without us being that middleman. We play a really, really instrumental role in people’s lives. 

The first time I realized that a role at bp would be the perfect fit for me was when I saw a LinkedIn post from someone on bp’s Marketing internship scheme about how much she was enjoying her role. After that, I reached out to her to find out more and when the applications opened I applied. Throughout the whole process everyone I met was so supportive and kind, which made it an easy choice to accept when I was offered a role. I joined bp as a Marketing Co-operative after finishing my Masters degree and have been here ever since.

Q: What’s been your biggest learning so far? 

For me, it’s about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I’ve learned a huge amount since I started working here and seen myself grow and change in ways I wouldn’t have expected. It’s an environment that encourages growth and pushes you to see how far you can challenge yourself while making sure you’re supported and encouraged along the way. 

Everyone here helps you to think long term and to look for opportunities to grow and develop. As part of my onboarding process, I had the opportunity to join ‘lunch and learn’ talks from senior leaders within the business. Hearing about their journeys with bp, their honest experiences and challenges, it really helped me think more about who I want to be as a leader, and the career I want to build here.  

Q: What’s the best thing about your role? 

It’s a cliché, but it’s the people! I love that I get to work alongside a really diverse group of people with different perspectives, experiences and opinions, who all share a vision and passion for what we do. People say you spend more time at work than with your family, but I can honestly say that the people at work have become like my family too. 

Q: And finally, what advice would you give to your 15 year old self? 

To keep believing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you keep trying, are open to exploring opportunities and have support behind you!