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I am very grateful for being given the opportunity to attend the Barclays’ Sophomore Springboard program. I owe a lot to the many great people I met at the firm along the way and the exceptional guidance that they provided me during the recruitment process. This program is an intensive, hands-on, two-day session, where the participants learn about several divisions within the firm and receive training from various experts within the financial services industry.
All of the participants came from diverse backgrounds and attended many different prestigious universities. This diversity was helpful over the course of the program, as we were able to collaborate and learn from different perspectives. The program is designed to give students a feel for how a bank operates on a daily basis and introduce you to some of the unique aspects that make Barclays so great.
My experience in the program was one-of-a-kind. When I interviewed for the Sophomore Springboard program, I spoke with a University of Virginia alumnus. I was elated to speak to someone with a similar educational background. We were able to connect on a more personal level, which took a lot of pressure away from the interview itself. My interviewer, Cecil, who works in the Banking division, turned out to be one of my greatest resources during the recruitment process, and I certainty would not be in the position that I’m in today without his help, guidance and the introductions he made between me and many other great Barclays employees.
Prior to arriving in New York for the program, the participants were able to communicate and interact through a Barclays Springboard app. This was a great tool before, during and after the program because it enabled us to share insight that we gained and expand our network of students who were interested in similar career paths.
Once we arrived in New York, the program featured hands-on experience for all participating divisions. I believe the introduction to the different divisions, including the explanations of the different lifestyles and interests that are a good fit for each, was very helpful since I was unaware of what I actually wanted to pursue within financial services. The seminars and workshops helped me decide which division suited me best given my skill set and aspirations. In addition, the program coordinators and experts explained everything thoroughly and were great resources, answering any questions that we had. The workshops used real-world examples that made it easy to grasp complex financial concepts.
A final feature of the Sophomore Springboard program was pairing participants with a mentor who could help us throughout the summer by answering additional questions and assist with recruitment and interview preparation. I was matched with Cecil and could not have asked for a better mentor. Although Cecil is in the Banking division within Barclays and I am more interested in Markets, he made every effort to connect me with the right people. Each employee I spoke to was phenomenal in guiding me and provided me with the resources needed to prepare me for my upcoming interviews.
When it came time for my interview at Barclays, I felt very comfortable and appropriately prepared. I shared the insights that I received from each person at the firm, especially my mentor, with my interviewers.
Overall, my experience during the Sophomore Springboard program at Barclays was second to none. I believe that having a mentor after the program was the most helpful resource for me during the recruitment period rather than the prep courses and networking events at numerous other banks. I am very thankful that I was able to attend the program, and I could not be more excited to work for such a great firm with so many great people this summer.